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Singapore match-fixing ‘biggest yet’

AFP-JIJI

A soccer match-fixing ring based in Singapore was the world’s “largest and most aggressive” such operation, the Interpol chief said in remarks published Tuesday after the arrest of the group’s suspected mastermind.

International Criminal Police Organization Secretary-General Ronald Noble hailed the arrest in Singapore last week of 14 suspects.

“I’m confident that Singapore law enforcement authorities have arrested the mastermind and leader of the world’s most notorious match-fixing syndicate,” Noble said in remarks carried by the city-state’s Today newspaper.

“It is significant because this syndicate is considered the world’s largest and most aggressive match-fixing syndicate, with tentacles reaching every continent and the mastermind was someone many believed was untouchable,” Noble was quoted as saying without mentioning any name.

A source has confirmed that among those arrested was Singaporean businessman Dan Tan, the syndicate’s suspected head. He and four others are now being held without bail under a tough law designed for criminal gang members.

The European police agency Europol in February said it had smashed a network rigging hundreds of games, including in the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers.

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.