Wilson Raj back in Hungary

Convicted Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal is back in Hungary.

He testified yesterday in a Budapest court about his business dealings with alleged kelong king Dan Tan Seet Eng, and his links to other shareholders from the Balkans, a European journalist told The New Paper.

Wilson Raj was arrested in Finland in April and later convicted of immigration offences there.

SINGAPORE POLICE VISIT WILSON RAJ

Yesterday, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) revealed that Finnish police were unable to accede to the Republic's request to send Wilson Raj back to Singapore.

A police spokesman said: "The Finnish police facilitated our request for a team of investigators from SPF and Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau to interview Wilson Raj on 18 and 19 June 2014 in Finland before his return to Hungary."

Bound by European Union laws, the Finnish authorities are obligated to return Wilson Raj to Hungary where he has been a prosecution witness for match-fixing trials since 2012.

But his obligation in Hungary did not stop him from travelling secretly, which was how he ended up in custody in Finland on an international arrest warrant issued by Singapore. He had travelled to Finland illegally on four occasions on a forged passport.

It remains unclear what Wilson Raj was specifically asked by the Singapore investigators.

They could be interested to learn about his kelong affiliations globally, including his ties to gang-related activities.

Wilson Raj, who had absconded from Singapore in 2010 after failing to appear in court to appeal against a five-year corrective sentence for hurting an auxiliary policeman, could still be a vital cog in the fight against match fixing.

His statement to the Singapore investigators could help piece together the extent of Tan's syndicate that was crippled last September.

At present, the Hungarian authorities require Wilson Raj's testimony against his former Hungarian kelong associates and kelong financier - Tan.

In court yesterday, Wilson Raj said: "When I fixed some friendly games before the World Cup 2010, Dan (Tan) told me that he had to share the profit with other people from the organisation. But I don't know if he really paid them.

"Very rarely we lost, but when we lost, I had to pay my share."

OTHERS INVOLVED

Meanwhile, Wilson Raj's handiwork and links to kelong attempts in the UK were established after the recent conviction of Singaporean Chann Sankaran, 33.

An associate of Wilson Raj, Chann was arrested in a sting operation by British cops last November when he tried to bribe players in the Conference League in England.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Chann and an accomplice, Krishna Ganeshan, had accepted a bag containing €60,000 (S$127,000) from an undercover police officer.

UK detectives learned that Chann had also wired €2,650 to a Hungarian account in the name of "Wilson Perumal Raj".

Other incriminating evidence linking Chann to Wilson Raj includes covertly-recorded video clips where Chann told an undercover investigator posing as an investor that he was working for Wilson Raj.

There was also an introductory e-mail proposal in which Chann outlined his kelong plans and prices to the "investor".

On June 20, Chann and Ganeshan were each sentenced to five years' jail for their bribery attempts..

Wilson Raj had also implicated himself in secretly-recorded Skype conversations.

He confirmed Chann's role as one of his trusted lieutenants to an undercover investigator last October.

The Singapore police spokesman said they will continue to "explore alternative options to bring Wilson Raj back to Singapore from Hungary".

Excerpts of Chann's e-mail to 'investor'

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY MATCHES:

"Please note that I can arrange international friendly matches on Fifa dates in many countries... The team will in return give us full co-operation during the match. We do not have to worry about the match going wrong. (Sic) It will be 100 per cent success."

"The airfare will usually be around S$70,000 and the appearance fees for the FA (football association) will be around US$30,000. The cooperation fees for the team will (be) around US$60,000."

"Usually your boss can bet up to S$500,000 on this match. After cost, we stand to make around S$300,000 in profit. It is a sure win or else I will never pay the airfare and bring a team to play."

TOURNAMENTS:

"We can arrange referees to be on our side as well... As for the tournament, the profit can be up to 2 million (currency unknown) after 14 days of the matches. I also have teams in UK conference league. The cost in 60,000 to 80,000 pounds per match."

"Please consider my proposal and revert to me. In all cases, you do not deal cash with me. Only after success you pay me my cut 40 per cent of the profit."

zaihan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 26, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.