Match-fixing trial: Linesmen didn't pay us, say hostesses

Lisa (left) and Chanel gave evidence on the fourth day of the trial of Eric Ding, who is accused of bribing three Lebanese officials.

SINGAPORE - Two hostesses who "entertained" the linesmen involved in a match-fixing case told a court that the football officials did not pay them for their sexual services.

The women - whose working names are Lisa and Chanel - were giving evidence on the fourth day of the trial of Eric Ding Si Yang, the 31-year-old businessman accused of bribing three Lebanese officials by arranging for them to receive free sexual favours.

Lisa, 28, said that a mamasan called Christine had told her about an "outside job".

Chanel, 32, testified that she was not planning to work that night but Christine called her after 11pm and she accepted the offer to entertain men outside a karaoke lounge. She then went to the lounge near Mohamed Sultan Road to join Lisa and another hostess called Ann.

At 12.30am, Christine drove them to Amara Hotel in Tanjong Pagar. She handed them condoms and told them twice not to seek payment from the guests.

The three women told the district court that they initially thought they would be going out to party with the men, until they landed in their hotel rooms.

Lisa pleasured linesman Abdallah Taleb, 37, while Chanel had sex with 33-year-old Ali Eid.

Ann, 29, had testified on Wednesday that she had sex with referee Ali Sabbagh, 34.

All three said they did not seek payment from the men.

 

Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: ST, Facebook, AFP)

They also said that usually, each woman would get the $500 fee for an outside job the next day from Christine. However, they were detained by the authorities on leaving the hotel at around 2am.

Upon their release, they learnt the person who booked them had not paid up and Christine forked out $450 of her own money to pay each of them. The trio also said that they did not know Ding or the person who had booked them.

Sabbagh had testified at the start of the trial that he had asked Ding for "girls" and the hostesses had appeared at the hotel.

The Singaporean is alleged to have arranged the free sexual favours for the officials - hours before they were due to officiate at an Asian Football Confederation Cup match between Singapore's Tampines Rovers and India's East Bengal.

Ding's trial will resume on Aug 27. If convicted, he faces up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $100,000 or both.

Sabbagh is now serving a six-month jail term for accepting sexual favours to fix a match. Taleb and Eid were both given three-month prison terms, which they have served.

khush@sph.com.sg

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