No evading long arm of law

No evading long arm of law
Part-time soccer referee Shokri Nor and businessman S. Thanasegar (pictured, top left) were originally accused of conspiring with each other to receive a RM15,000 (S$6,100) bribe to fix a football match last month. Suspect Shokri Nor in a house in Kedah’s Sungai Petani last year

Justice has caught up with fugitive kelong suspect Thanasegar S. Sinnaiah - confirming what two sources had told The New Paper. Believed to have been arrested last week, Thanasegar was presented in court yesterday morning.

The 40-year-old Malaysian ex-national footballer had fled Singapore and had been on the run for two years.

Thanasegar, along with two others, stand accused of trying to fix a Malaysian Super League (MSL) match in May 2012.

Thanasegar was the first to appear before the judge when the session started at about 9.15am.

From the start, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Shaun Lee asked that Thanasegar be denied bail as he poses a flight risk.

In 2012, despite having his passport impounded and posting bail of $50,000, Thanasegar managed to flee Singapore.

DPP Lee told the judge: "He (Thanasegar) clearly has the means to abscond again."

Thanasegar was initially charged alongside part-time referee and Malaysian police officer Shokri Nor with conspiring to fix an MSL match between Singapore's LionsXII and Sarawak FA at Jalan Besar Stadium on May 22, 2012.

Thanasegar's amended charge stated that he had allegedly arranged a meeting between Shokri and Singaporean project manager Selvarajan Letchuman in Penang on May 19, 2012.

CHARGED

Selvarajan had allegedly given RM500 (S$200) to Shokri, 49.Selvarajan was also charged with agreeing to give the referee up to RM15,000 to fix the result.

They were arrested before the start of the game and the referees were changed.

When Shokri and Thanasegar fled Singapore in June 2012, the corruption case stalled.

In November 2012, Selvarajan, then 49, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in a subordinate court.

Yesterday, Mr Lee told the judge that the prosecution was seeking a three-week adjournment for further investigations.

The judge granted the request and set a pre-trial conference for Thanasegar on Aug 29.

A Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau spokesman said yesterday that the "successful arrest was with the assistance of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission".

The New Paper got wind of Thanasegar's arrest on Saturday afternoon.

One of our sources said he believed that Thanasegar was arrested in the Malaysian state of Kedah.

This was the same state where this reporter had found fugitive Shokri in July last year moving about freely in a Sungai Petani housing estate.

At that time, Shokri was making a living by helping his wife with her bridal business.

SURPRISED

Surprised that his whereabouts had been exposed, Shokri refused to grant an interview.

Instead, his wife and teenage daughter spoke on his behalf.His teenage daughter, who declined to be named, had said then: "I don't want to be rude, but this isn't something we need right now. What if the authorities come and arrest my father? Why is Singapore so interested in knowing all about my father's situation?"

Shokri's whereabouts are currently unknown.

Thanasegar, on the other hand, may also be charged with immigration offences for absconding.

He (Thanasegar) clearly has the means to abscond again.

zaihan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 11, 2014.
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