Man pleads guilty to helping match-fixer get second forged passport

Man pleads guilty to helping match-fixer get second forged passport
Raja Morgan Chelliah (above) had already been jailed in 2011 for helping Wilson Raj Perumal flee Singapore with a forged passport.

He had been jailed for a year in 2011 for helping Wilson Raj Perumal flee Singapore with a forged passport.

Now, 36-year-old Raja Morgan Chelliah has pleaded guilty to helping the notorious match-fixer get a second Singapore biometric passport.

Investigations revealed that the 49-year-old Wilson Raj had used the second passport, which bore his photograph but was issued under the name Subramaniam Sellapah, to travel to Switzerland, Hungary, Austria and South Africa.

None of these places required a visa for those travelling with a Singapore passport.

Last Friday, the prosecution called for a sentence of 45 months in jail as a warning to others, as the offences had led to "adverse publicity" on the integrity of Singapore passports and could threaten the visa-free access enjoyed by Singaporeans to 170 countries.

Raja Morgan will be sentenced next month.

He had met Wilson Raj in Changi Prison when they were both serving time.

Raja Morgan had been jailed for 18 months in 2004 for two counts of voluntarily causing hurt, and slapped with another 10 months' jail in 2005 for breaching a Personal Protection Order.

On May 30, 2010, Wilson Raj absconded from Singapore with a passport bearing his photograph but issued under the particulars of Raja Morgan.

At the time, Wilson Raj was on bail while appealing against a five-year jail sentence for assaulting an auxiliary police officer over a parking ticket.

Another conspiracy was hatched, some time between September and October 2010, to obtain a second passport for Wilson Raj.

Raja Morgan's former girlfriend, Norizan Kamal, 34, and Subramaniam, 41, were also involved.

Investigations found that Wilson Raj had contacted Raja Morgan and requested another Singapore passport some time during that period.

On Jan 27, 2011, Raja Morgan met a man in the Serangoon Road area and handed over the second passport in exchange for $5,000. Raja Morgan then gave $2,000 to Subramaniam.

Around February 2011, Raja Morgan was arrested in Singapore and served 12 months in jail for offences related to the procurement of the first passport.

Wilson Raj was later arrested in Finland's capital, Helsinki, and the first passport issued under the name of Raja Morgan was seized by the authorities in Finland.

Wilson Raj, who is alleged to have rigged hundreds of football games across five continents, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent winnings for Asian and European illegal betting syndicates, went on to be sentenced to two years' jail for travelling on a forged Singapore passport and bribing players in the Finnish league.

He served a year before he was extradited to Hungary to help police there with their match-fixing investigations.

In an interview with CNN last year, he claimed to have rigged games at the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, the Women's World Cup, the Concacaf Gold Cup and the African Cup of Nations.

Wilson Raj is still wanted by police here.

It was highlighted in court that Raja Morgan never revealed the existence of the second passport when he was arrested in 2011.

In his mitigation plea for his involvement in the procurement of the second passport, Raja Morgan claimed he did not know about Wilson Raj's notoriety in the international match-fixing scene.

He also said that he became obliged to Wilson Raj, who had helped him settle some of his financial issues after his business collapsed.

joycel@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 26, 2015.
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