S'porean arrested in fixing probe

"He's my boss... Everybody in the world knows him" - The alleged fixer on his ties with the convicted Singapore match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal (above).

A Singaporean man linked to convicted Singapore match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal is believed to be part of a group of six arrested in England in a crackdown on illegal football match-fixing.

The arrests were made by the National Crime Agency (NCA) after an undercover investigation by Britain's The Telegraph newspaper.

Three of the men held, The Telegraph reported, were footballers and another was identified as Delroy Facey, a former Premier League player-turned agent.

In a statement released to The Straits Times, the NCA said that "six men have been arrested across the country as part of an NCA investigation into alleged football match fixing."

When pressed for more details on the identity of the six, the NCA said it was not able to provide further information, citing ongoing investigations.

The match-fixing crackdown, which allegedly involved matches in Britain's fifth-tier Football Conference or lower, is believed to be the biggest match-fixing scandal in decades.

The Telegraph's website carried a video of a recorded conversation between the alleged Singaporean and an investigator.

The suspect in question spoke with a Singapore accent - using phrases like "double confirm". The Telegraph alleged that the man was able to accurately predict the outcomes of matches.

He also explained how he typically instructs the players on the total number of goals that he expects to be scored for each half.

The alleged fixer also revealed that the footballers can be bought off for about £70,000 (S$140,000).

He said: "Because, basically what the players want you know, they want the money. So, the players in England they earn around £5,000 a month.

"So, for 90 minutes, I pay them £7,000. For two hours, definitely they take."

He also claimed that he can designate a particular player to take a yellow card for an extra £5,000. This must be done within the first 10 minutes of the game and it is to signal that the match-rigging is on.

As if to back up his claims, the alleged fixer also revealed that he works for Perumal.

"He's my boss... Everybody in the world knows him," he said of the Singaporean, who was arrested in Finland in 2011.

Now co-operating with authorities in Hungary, it is believed that Perumal has given evidence which has led to law enforcement agencies worldwide to make arrests of key men in crime syndicates.

In Singapore last month, 14 suspects were arrested during an islandwide raid conducted by the police and anti-graft officers.

It is believed that among the 14 are two well-known associates of Perumal - the alleged syndicate mastermind Dan Tan Seet Eng, who is wanted by Interpol, and Gaye Alassane, whose criminal activities allegedly include acting as a courier or agent to help fix matches in Egypt, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago between 2010 and 2011.

ugenec@sph.com.sg


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