Silence does not mean inaction: Investigator.

The silent ways in which law enforcement works are often misunderstood by some in the media, says a match-fixing investigator.

The SI Sports Intelligence investigator, who wants to be known only as John because of his undercover work, was responding to Mr Declan Hill's allegations about match-fixing suspect Dan Tan Seet Eng being "protected".

The former police officer, who joined the hunt for global match-fixers two years ago, said: "Some investigations are complex and require years of thorough investigation to meet legislative requirements to lay charges."

Investigators need resources and cooperation from other agencies to prove the elements of each offence, he added.

"It's no point taking out one guy from a syndicate and calling that a success," he said.

"It's better to conduct thorough investigations which provide accurate information leading to substantial arrests and success in disabling a syndicate's capabilities and functions."

Mr Davy Chan, 66, a retired cop and Police Gallantry Medal winner, also reacted strongly against Mr Hill, saying: "No such thing. What's he talking about? Singapore is no different from other police forces worldwide.

"Before you can arrest somebody, you must have concrete evidence. Otherwise, your weak evidence will backfire in court."

Tan is wanted in Italy for allegedly masterminding more than 30 fixed matches in Italy's Serie A and Serie B.

He is said to have made millions of dollars, aided by members of a Balkan syndicate.

In Hungary, Tan has been charged in absentia for a similar role.

Mr P. Sivakumar, the former deputy general secretary of Football Association of Singapore, said: "I don't know what evidence Mr Hill has to imply that the Singapore authorities are protecting Tan.

Serious allegation

"This is a serious allegation which he must come and declare.

"Singapore has always taken a zero-tolerance approach towards matchfixing. This isn't a straightforward case because it involves many jurisdictions."

Mr Sivakumar pointed to high-profile court cases involving top civil servants over the past year to show Singapore's strong stand against corruption.

"As far as the Singapore Government and its legal system are concerned, if you have broken the law, you will be prosecuted," he said.

Mr Hill was among other critics of the "inaction" by Singapore authorities after Europol's announcement in February that more than 300 suspected football matches internationally were linked to Singapore syndicates.

Tan was among those named in the Italian match-fixing probe. Mr Hill then called for Tan's arrest.

The Singapore police later said that Tan, a businessman, was helping the authorities with their investigations.

They also sent a delegation to Interpol headquarters to study the evidence against Tan.

A German team of investigators came to Singapore in May to share intelligence with its counterparts.

Mr Hill was among those who called for world football governing body Fifa to sanction Singapore from participating in international football competitions over the match-fixing allegations.

Fifa security head Ralf Mutschke told TNP in February: "No court in the world would say this is a right decision by Fifa (to sanction Singapore).

"And I say it is not Fifa's point to sanction the FAs because the Singapore FA is not in charge of this judicial and political decision."

zaihan@sph.com.sg


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