Top global match-fixer held in S'pore raids

Top global match-fixer held in S'pore raids

SINGAPORE - The alleged mastermind of a global football match-fixing syndicate is reportedly among 14 people arrested in a major crackdown in Singapore.

Police Thursday declined to confirm that Singaporean businessman Dan Tan, whose full name is Tan Seet Eng, was the "suspected leader" mentioned in their statement announcing the arrests.

Syndicates linked to Singapore had targeted hundreds of games worldwide, including those in the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers, European police agency Europol said in February.

A joint statement from Singapore police and anti-corruption bureau late Wednesday said 12 men and two women were nabbed in a 12-hour operation that ended in the early hours of Tuesday.

They were suspected of "being part of an organised crime group involved with match-fixing activities", it said.

The "suspected leader" of the group and several others arrested were the subject of ongoing investigations in other jurisdictions, it added.

While nine of the suspects have been granted bail, five are being held under a section of the penal code which allows for up to a year's detention without trial and is usually used in cases involving criminal gangs.

Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble has previously called on Singapore to arrest Tan, who is wanted by Italian authorities over the "calcioscommesse" betting scandal.

Singapore's Straits Times and New Paper, whose investigative journalist Zaihan Mohamed Yusof has been closely following the case, both said Dan Tan was among those arrested but did not give sources.

In May Singapore police said Tan was "assisting investigators in Singapore". In the same month he was charged in Hungary over the alleged manipulation of 32 games in three countries.

That development came after Europol in February said a five-country probe had identified 380 suspicious matches targeted by Singapore-based betting cartels, whose illegal activities stretched to players, referees and officials worldwide.

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