Football: Singapore fixing suspect fails in detention plea

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean man accused of masterminding an international football match-fixing ring failed in a legal challenge against his detention without trial on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

Businessman Dan Tan, also known as Tan Seet Eng, lodged his plea with Singapore High Court ahead of the one-year anniversary of his jailing in October 2013.

In a closed hearing, the court dismissed the demand, lawyer Hamidul Haq said. Dan Tan is held under a law that allows for indefinite detention and is typically used against organised criminals.

"It was dismissed," Haq said in a short email statement to AFP, in response to a query.

Fifty-year-old Tan was one of 14 people detained in a crackdown on match-fixing rings last year.

Authorities have said they invoked the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which allows for indefinite detention with yearly reviews, due to the difficulty of finding evidence against him.

Tan is wanted in Italy for allegedly playing a role in the wide-ranging 'calcioscommesse', or football betting, scandal, which implicated a swathe of big names and clubs.

He has also been charged in absentia in Hungary for allegedly manipulating 32 games in three European countries.

Experts have said that easy international transport, a passport accepted around the world and fluency in English and Mandarin have helped Singaporean fixers spread their influence abroad with the support of external investors, most believed to be from China.

In July, a Singapore court sentenced nightclub owner Eric Ding to three years in prison for providing prostitutes to three Lebanese football referees in an attempt to rig matches.