Match-fixer living it up in Hungary

GOOD TIME: Wilson Raj says Hungarian women are hot and there's no shortage of them.

SINGAPORE - He is supposed to be assisting Hungarian authorities in their match-fixing investigations.

But instead, Wilson Raj Perumal has apparently been directing match-rigging operations in Australia.

The New Paper can reveal that the 46-year-old Singaporean is the man behind the Victorian Premier League (VPL) kelong scandal which broke Down Under on Sunday.

The winnings from allegedly compromised matches from Australian and overseas betting houses is estimated to be more than A$2 million ($2.3 million).

And based on pictures that Wilson Raj posted on his Facebook page recently, he seems to be enjoying life in Hungary.

Fairfax Media in Australia also reported on his social media presence, with him posting pictures of him enjoying the nightspots of Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

In previous e-mails that he sent to TNP, Wilson Raj said: "Right now, it's time to relax and enjoy life. I wish I had been in Hungary 20 years ago.

"The women are very attractive and extremely friendly.

"In Budapest, there is no shortage of women. Property is cheap. I can afford to have a family without having to work 12 hours a day."

He said that he had "wasted my time and life in Singapore", where he is a wanted man after he failed to appear in a court in July 2010 for an appeals hearing against a five-year corrective sentence for injuring an auxiliary policeman.

"My life is very quiet and peaceful. At times, I thank God for giving me a chance to live in Hungary," he said.

Then he mentioned the Hungarian women again.

"Women very 'panas' (hot in Malay) like the summer. Nightlife (is from) Monday to Saturday. But I relax a lot these days. Not much clubbing. Jog, spend time watching movies etc."

While Wilson Raj is living it up in Hungary, six people connected with the VPL team Southern Stars were charged in a court in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda in connection to a match-fixing scandal linked to him on Monday.

Among them was Malaysian national Segaran G. "Gerry" Subramaniam, who police prosecutors allege is the link man between an international match-rigging syndicate and the team.

The 45-year-old, who lives in Clayton South, is believed to have told the team how to perform on the pitch.

"On a worldwide scale, (Subramaniam) is not the bigwig, Australian-wise he is," Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Scott Poynder told the court.

TNP understands that the bigwig behind Subramaniam is Wilson Raj.

An Asian-based match-fixing investigator for SI Sports Intelligence, who wanted to be known only as John, showed TNP e-mails, recordings and communications which confirm the link.

"Wilson Raj paid him (Subramaniam) to go to Australia and oversee his match-fixing operations... to deal with players and officials and tell them how to perform," John said.

"There are media reports that Wilson Raj could be behind what is going on in Australia. I can tell you that, from Hungary, he is definitely the man behind the fixing in the VPL.

"I have had close contacts with both criminal elements from the match-fixing world and authorities who have advised and warned me that Wilson Raj is still active in match-rigging and has been for many months now."

The 46-year-old has been in Hungary since last year to help with match-fixing investigations there.

He was extradited to the Eastern European nation last year after serving a year of his two-year jail sentence in Finland in 2011 for bribing players and referees to rig matches.

When TNP contacted the Hungarian authorities for details on Wilson Raj's status in the country and his links to match-fixing in Australia, Ms Andrea Nagy, a spokesman for Central Investigative

Chief in the Prosecutor's Office, said she was unable to comment.

Still in touch

Fairfax Media also revealed that he is still in touch with his former contacts in the footballing world.

Two people, Mr Safious Salifou and Mr Zekrea Nana, commented on a Facebook picture of Wilson Raj uploaded two weeks ago.

Mr Safious, described by Fairfax as former Togolese international, who called him "the boss" in response to a picture of Wilson Raj posing on a motorcycle.

Mr Nana, meanwhile, is listed on Fifa's website as a player and match agent.

Wilson Raj has a dubious history with Togo, having organised the fixed friendly between Togo and Bahrain in Manama in 2010. The now-infamous referee Ibrahim Chaibou disallowed five goals during the match and it was later revealed the Togolese side was "fake" and not the national team.

In his letters to TNP, Wilson Raj admitted that Chaibou had been paid to keep the score low.

Wilson Raj could not be reached for comment on Monday.

He wrote to the then-Minister of Sport Kate Lundy last November year offering his assistance and expertise as a match-fixing investigator.

And John has a chilling message to those who believe the Southern Stars scandal in the VPL is an isolated instance of fixing Down Under.

"From my investigations, it's not just one club from one league in Victoria that is involved in fixing. It is happening at more than one team and in more than one state," he said.

Timeline of events

1984

Wilson Raj Perumal was placed on 18 months of probation for housebreaking and theft.

1983

Since 1983, he has had a string of convictions for offences like housebreaking, theft, forgery, cheating and match-fixing.

He was jailed and fined for these crimes.

1992

Fined $3,000 for cheating by impersonation.

1995

Sentenced to a year in jail for trying to fix an inter-constituency football match in 1994.

1999

Jailed for 26 months for bribing an S-League referee in 1996 and escaping from a corruption investigator in 1998.

2000

Jailed 16 months and fined $1,000 for attacking Woodlands Wellington midfielder Ivica Raguz with a hockey stick to prevent him from playing an S-League match the following day.

2010

Set up international friendly match between Bahrain and a fake Togo team.

Became a fugitive when he failed to appear in a Singapore court in July for an appeals hearing against a five-year corrective sentence for injuring an auxiliary policeman.

2011

Arrested in Finland for using a fake passport.

After making his first court appearance in Finland, he tried to flee but the bone-chilling cold forced him to backtrack.

Admitted to trying to fix 11 Finnish league matches - four of which were successful. The matches all involved either Rovaniemi FC or IFK Mariehamn.

Sentenced to two years in prison for bribing players, entering Finland with a forged Singapore passport and obstructing the duties of government officials by trying to escape from custody.

Suspected of also manipulating the Zimbabwe matches in South-east Asia in 2007 and 2009.

2012

After serving half of his two-year jail sentence in Finland, he was extradited to Hungary to assist in match-fixing investigations there.

Implicated in pre-World Cup friendly fixes. Referees appointed by Wilson Raj's company were believed to have rigged matches involving hosts South Africa.


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