Indonesian jailed for trying to fix SEA Games football match

Indonesian jailed for trying to fix SEA Games football match
PHOTO: Zaobao

They were willing to pay $15,000 to ensure that Timor Leste lost big against Malaysia.

The match-fixers got the Timor Leste football federation's technical director, Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, 49, to accept the bribe to fix the match.

But just hours later and before the South-east Asian (SEA) Games football match kicked off on May 30, the four men were arrested.

Malaysia won by a solitary goal.

Yesterday, Indonesian national Nasiruddin, 52, was the first of the accused to be dealt with in court.

He was jailed for 30 months for conspiring with the two men to bribe Orlando.

His two alleged accomplices were Singaporean Rajendran "Pal" Kurusamy, 55, and Timor Leste national Moises Natalino De Jesus, 31.

Court papers said that Nasiruddin, who goes by one name, was a registered referee from 1994 until 1997 when he was banned for 10 years for accepting bribes to influence matches.

On March 20, a friend told Nasiruddin to go to Singapore to meet Rajendran, who wanted to discuss how they could fix some SEA Games football matches.

After he arrived here on a ferry from Batam that day, Rajendran asked him if he knew anyone from the Indonesian or Timor Leste football teams who could help them.

Nasiruddin returned to Batam, asked around and was eventually introduced to Moises, a former Timor Leste footballer.

Team Manager

When Moises met Rajendran at a hotel in Batam on May 25, he said he knew Orlando, who was also the Timor Leste team manager.

Moises later told Orlando about Rajendran's plan for Timor Leste to defend for the first 20 minutes before going on to lose by several goals.

Orlando was unsure if he could get his team to lose by a big score, but expressed interest.

On May 28, the conspirators met at Orchid Country Club, where Rajendran offered Orlando $15,000 to get at least seven players to help throw the game.

Orlando was then earning US$1,000 (S$1,370) a month.

The players would be paid $4,000 each. Orlando agreed.

Unknown to them, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau had received information about their plan and arrested them.

The men were charged in court on May 30.

Yesterday, Nasiruddin pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in a conspiracy to bribe Orlando to fix a football match.

Another charge of engaging in another conspiracy to bribe seven Timor Leste players to lose their match was taken into consideration.

District Judge Salina Ishak said in sentencing that Nasiruddin had come to Singapore for the sole purpose of committing a crime and that he was a key link to the conspiracy.

She added that he and his co-conspirators had planned to exploit a team of vulnerable young players.

Nasiruddin could have been jailed up to five years and/or fined up to $100,000.

The cases involving Rajendran, Moises and Orlando are scheduled for a pre-trial conference tomorrow.

SNOC: SEA Games results not affected

Despite the conviction of an Indonesian national involved in a match-fixing attempt, the football results at the 28th South-east Asian Games are not affected and will stand, said Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) secretary-general Chris Chan.

Indonesian national Nasiruddin was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment yesterday for offences related to football match-fixing activities at the Games, involving the Group B match between Malaysia and Timor Leste.

Before the game, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that a Singaporean, Rajendran Kurusamy, 55, had been arrested, along with Nasiruddin and two other co-conspirators, for attempting to bribe seven Timor Leste players to lose the match.

Three Timor Leste players also assisted CPIB with the investigations.

Score

Malaysia ended up winning the game 1-0.

Mr Chan, who was also the chairman of the SEA Games sports and rules committee during the biennial event, said all the results in the football competition will stand.

"No footballer was implicated for match-fixing after the game, so there is no reason to render the result void," he told The New Paper.

"Action was taken before the game. Had it been the other way around, then it would be a different story.

"For what it's worth, in hindsight, the incident seemed to have shaken up the Timor Leste team. I thought they played out of their skins in that game."

Mr Chan added that he felt the incident did not tarnish the football competition, which was won by Thailand.

"The SEA Games committee was always in consultation with (the Games' organising committee) SingSoc during the event, and we support whatever actions were taken," he said.


This article was first published on July 22, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.