The executive functions of Deputy Chairman and Joint Managing Director of Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide PLC, Xia Liqang, a Chinese national, have been suspended with immediate effect, pending the outcomes of the investigation conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into his dealings. A stock exchange filing by BLUE’s company secretaries said the decision was arrived by the director board by a majority vote at a board meeting held on Tuesday. However, Liqang will continue to be on the BLUE board as a Non-Executive Non-Independent Director.
The SEC is currently investigating Liqang on two counters—mishandling of monies raised through a rights issue and a case of possible insider dealing as he tried to dump a parcel of BLUE shares before the result of an audit ordered by the SEC on the company’s books.
As at June 30, 2016, Liqang held 8.13 percent of BLUE. This July, the daughter of Ministers Daya Gamage and Anoma Gamage, who currently functions as Joint Managing Director of BLUE, upped her shareholding of the company over 17 percent. Later her brother was also appointed to the BLUE board as a non-executive non-independent Director. Currently, the Gamages control four BLUE board seats. The entry of the Gamages to the BLUE board saw Liqang, who was functioning as Chairman/Managing Director, being relegated to the post of Deputy Chairman and Joint Managing Director.