BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Cricket Association (OCA), in trouble for receiving Rs one crore from the dodgy AT Group for some cricket matches, on Wednesday said it is willing to deposit the money with the state government to benefit small-time investors.
OCA had received the amount for organizing Ranji matches and OPL between 2011 and 2012. The money was also used to sponsor some junior cricketers to train under former Odisha coach Michael Bevan in Australia. "We did not know that the AT Group diverted public money to sponsor matches organised by OCA. We will give the money to the government," Behera told TOI after being questioned by police at Kharvela Nagar police station here. "Only those who have lost their hard-earned money should benefit and not the rich investors," he said.
Behera said he furnished required documents, involving cheques that OCA received from AT Group. "OCA's association with AT Group was open and transparent. The company was a title sponsor in OPL. I did not take any personal benefit from it," said Behera, who police quizzed for about 10 minutes. He is among the 22 people, who police summoned for their alleged links with the AT Group.
Police are struggling for evidence to establish links between AT Group and businessmen. A day after media entrepreneurs and businessmen washed their hands of the fraud, some builders on Wednesday denied having any unscrupulous links with the money circulation company. Builder-cum-media entrepreneur Madhu Mohanty and realtors Debabrata Dhir, Sudhansu Pattnaik and Dilip Badjena, suspected to have taken huge amounts from Sethi to float real estate projects, produced documents claiming their innocence.
"AT Group had pledged to invest Rs 37 crore in my housing project Arohan in January, 2011. He gave Rs 3 crore, but kept me waiting for several months. The company then suddenly cancelled the agreement on August 11, 2012. I returned Rs 3 crore to it," Pattnaik said.
Sethi said the builders and media entrepreneurs manipulated evidences. "Those people might have tampered with evidence," Sethi told TOI while being produced in a trial court here by Khurda Police. The city police have sought further remand of Sethi and three other directors for interrogation.