SINGAPORE – Fourteen people believed to be members of an organized crime ring involved in football match-fixing activities have been arrested in police raids across Singapore, authorities said Wednesday.
The Singapore Police Force and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said in a joint statement the 12 men and two women were nabbed in a 12-hour operation that ended in the early hours of Tuesday.
They were suspected of “being part of an organized crime group involved with match-fixing activities,” the statement said.
The European police agency Europol in February said it had smashed a network rigging hundreds of games, including in World Cup qualifiers and the Champions League. Europol said at that time that 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.
The statement said the 14 people are being probed for offenses related to match-fixing under the city-state’s Prevention of Corruption Act. Five of the 14, including the suspected leader, have been detained for further investigations, while the rest will be released on police bail, it said.