In this excerpt from FOUL! The Inside Story Of Singapore Match Fixers, Wilson Raj Perumal boasted to an undercover investigator last October how he was able to direct the play from far away, resulting in two attempted football fixes in Australia and the UK
It was thought that the threat of Wilson Raj had been neutralised with his arrest in Finland three years ago.
Apparently, this was not so. SI's (SI Sports Intelligence) Michael Pride said Wilson Raj was still able to communicate with his lieutenants. As a result, the match-fixing scandals in Australia and the UK last year, and the 2010 pre-World Cup warm-up matches have all been blamed on Wilson Raj.
SI's operatives could prove that Wilson Raj was involved, based on the evidence they had collected. He (Wilson Raj) revealed his ability to fix matches and profit from them.
Wilson Raj explained how he was able to run his syndicate even while under Hungarian custody - his runners had helped him while he remained behind the scenes.
He had said: "I am completely out of the picture. I will use remote distance and that means I use people. I don't move. I just sit in front of my computer and... I just use remote, like Sam (his runner) will go to you and Sam will do all the paperwork. I have got other people who will run around doing ticketing and this and that. I don't literally get involved. Trust me."
If Wilson Raj is to be believed, he also has Lady Luck to thank.
He claimed that the Hungarian authorities did not care about what happened outside their country. "I live in a very good country, in the Hungarian country.
"They are least bothered about whatever takes place outside of Hungary. The police told me that 'We are not here to save the world. So long as you are here, don't f*** around with the Hungarian law, that's it. What you do outside, we are least bothered, we are not here to save the world'."
A spokesman for the Central Investigative Chief Prosecutor's office in Hungary declined to comment on the allegations.
The Victorian police (in Australia) had fingered Wilson Raj for allegedly rigging matches in the Victorian Premier League (VPL), even though he was under house arrest in Hungary at the time.
Among those arrested by the Australian police were Wilson Raj's Malaysian point man, four foreign football players from VPL's Southern Stars and their coach.
Their involvement was said to have earned the syndicate A$2 million (S$2.3 million) in betting winnings.
However, last September, he told me in an e-mail: "I don't know any of the other people who have been charged in Australia. People should not be the judge, jury and executioner in this case. Let the relevant authorities investigate and conclude their investigations."
In May 2013, I was shown communications and e-mails connecting Wilson Raj to Sam who had been carrying out his orders.
SI had found that months prior, there had been mention of "numerous opportunities" to fix matches in Australian football.
They later briefed the Australian authorities on the intelligence gathered.
Sam was believed to have travelled to Hungary on a few occasions to visit Wilson Raj. His role as a runner was to source for investors.
In e-mails shown to The New Paper, the runner had said that his syndicate was able to fix "any game", be it an international friendly or a World Cup qualifier, for a fee of about $300,000. Again, a spokesman for the Hungarian authorities declined to comment when asked about these allegations.
In the latest twist, history has repeated itself.
On April 16 this year, Wilson Raj was arrested in Finland yet again.
The Finnish authorities were tight-lipped and only revealed that he was detained on an "international arrest warrant issued by Singapore". It was naive of me to even think that Wilson Raj, who had expressed many a regret for falling into a life of crime and harboured hopes to start life anew, was out of the kelong game.
It appears he never left it.
This article was first published on June 17, 2014.
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