Probe into explosive cricket visa scandal launched
Federal and Victoria police will probe explosive allegations of a sports visa scam, which has seen statistics faked and overseas cricketers ripped off by greedy agents.
Cricket Australia has also ordered an immediate review of its visa recommendation process, which until now has seen it provide support letters for overseas players, largely based on their online profiles.
The letters are key to players having their Temporary Activity (or 408) visas approved, enabling them to play or coach cricket for Australian teams for up to two years.
"We are working with authorities on the appropriate next steps, and have referred the matter to Victoria Police for investigation," a spokesman for Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria said.
"While this process is underway, there'll be a review in relation to requests for support letters for Temporary Activity visa applications."
Australian Federal Police confirmed the matter had been referred to it by the Australian Border Force for investigation.
The police probes and Cricket Australia crackdown came as one of the whistleblowers at the centre of the shocking revelations revealed she was threatened after she started asking questions about suspect practices, largely involving Sri Lankan players.
The agent, who describes herself as "one of the good guys", told the Saturday Herald Sun she was warned to keep her mouth shut about concerns she started voicing earlier this year about how sports visas to Australia were being obtained using fake cricket statistics, how much players were being charged by some agents and their poor treatment once they arrived in the country.
The agent, who asked not to be named out of concern for her family's safety, said she was told multiple times she would "ruin it for everyone" if she continued to raise concerns about the legality and ethics of what some player agents were doing.
"I was just banging my head against a brick wall basically," she said.
A Herald Sun investigation has revealed overseas players have been asked to hand over up to $10,000 to Australian agents, as payment for help obtaining visas and places in district cricket teams.
Strathmore Cricket Club came to the rescue of a West Indian cricketer, after his agent allegedly failed to pass on payment, owed after a season spent playing at another Victorian club.
Originally published as Probe into explosive cricket visa scandal launched