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Vigilance begins probe into OPL investments

Bhubaneswar: The Vigilance Department has started inquiry into alleged investment of illegal money in the recently concluded Orissa Premier League (OPL) cricket tournament, official sources said on Saturday.

"The vigilance department decided to investigate the franchise owners of OPL as they spent a lot of money in the three-week cricket tournament," Director of Vigilance Anup Kumar Patnaik said.

The OPL tournament which concluded in June had raised eyebrows because of lavish spending by franchise owners. Ten franchise owners had spent Rs 20 crore in purchasing teams and players. The department was investigating a former motor vehicles department inspector, a co-owner of the Cuttack franchise, which was sold at Rs 35 lakh.

"Documents are being verified and the former inspector is being questioned," Patnaik said. The department had recently filed a chargesheet against the former inspector. BJD MLA from Paradip, Damodar Rout, a former minister was among the first to raise questions on the OPL matches.

Demanding a through probe, Rout had alleged that money raised form illegal mining was invested in the OPL matches.Secretary of Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) Asribad Behera welcomed the investigation by the vigilance. "The OPL matches were conducted in a most transparent manner," Behera claimed.

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