London, Nov.10 : Texan billionaire Allen Stanford is in the middle of an international spying row.
Stanford, who is the man behind the controversial 12 million pound winner-takes-all tournament that was recently held in Antigua, West Indies, has been caught out by Venezuelan military intelligence officials after a raid on a branch of one his offshore banks that revealed that its employees were paid by the CIA to spy on Venezuela. According to The Telegraph, officials spent three hours searching files and documents at the Stanford International Banks' offices in Venezuelan capital Caracas, removing several of them for closer inspection.
The controversy will raise further questions about Sir Allen's involvement with English cricket, which many see as damaging to the game's reputation.
The English Cricket Board has signed a 100 million dollar five year deal with the Texan, allowing him to stage another four Twenty20 tournaments - in which the winning players are paid one million dollars and the losers walk away with nothing.