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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Football

Singapore helping Europol probe match-fixing ring
AFP
Singapore, February 06, 2013
First Published: 00:35 IST(6/2/2013)
Last Updated: 00:36 IST(6/2/2013)

Singapore police said on Tuesday they are helping European authorities in their investigation into an international crime syndicate that rigged hundreds of football matches in Europe and elsewhere.

"The authorities in Singapore are assisting the European authorities in their investigations into an international match-fixing syndicate that purportedly involves Singaporeans," the police said in a statement.

"Singapore takes a strong stance against match-fixing and is committed to working with international enforcement agencies to bring down transnational criminal syndicates, including those that involve the acts of Singaporeans overseas, and protect the integrity of the sport."

In the latest indication that Singapore is at the heart of a global match-fixing empire, Europol said Monday they had smashed a network rigging hundreds of games. Europol said a five-country probe had identified 380 suspicious matches targeted by a Singapore-based betting cartel, whose illegal activities stretched to players, referees and officials across the world.

Analysts said revelations about the scale of the scandal could damage Singapore's squeaky-clean image as one of the world's least corrupt nations.

Singapore's role in international match-rigging has long been clear, with Wilson Raj Perumal jailed in Finland in 2011 and another Singaporean, Tan Seet Eng or Dan Tan, wanted in Italy over the "calcioscommesse" scandal.

However, the latest announcement uncovered the huge scale of the activities, and raised potential problems for Singapore's reputation, as well as questions about how authorities are dealing with the match-fixing syndicates.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said it takes "a serious view of allegations pertaining to match-fixing and football corruption" and vowed to "spare no effort" to crack down on any such activities.

"The problem of match-fixing is not just confined to Asia," FAS said in a statement.

"It is a global problem and FAS will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities, both at the domestic and international levels, to combat match fixing and football corruption aggressively."


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