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Detention orders issued for 4 S’poreans in match-fixing case

SINGAPORE — Five of the 14 Singaporeans who were arrested in a match-fixing swoop earlier last month will be detained further under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (CLTPA), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) confirmed yesterday.

SINGAPORE — Five of the 14 Singaporeans who were arrested in a match-fixing swoop earlier last month will be detained further under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (CLTPA), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) confirmed yesterday.

Among the five, four of the suspects — believed to include Tan Seet Eng, also known as Dan Tan, the alleged mastermind of a global match-fixing syndicate — have been issued with detention orders.

The fifth was issued with a police supervision order.

Responding to media queries, the MHA said in accordance with provisions under the CLTPA, the orders will be referred to a Criminal Law Advisory Committee (CLAC) — comprising former judges and experienced lawyers in private practice — within the next 28 days.

The five suspects, who have the right to legal representation, will appear before the CLAC, following which the committee will make their recommendations to President Tony Tan. The President will consider the recommendations and “may, acting on the advice of Cabinet, cancel, confirm or vary the order”, the MHA said.

Noting that the orders have “yet to be confirmed by the President”, a spokesperson said the ministry was unable to release the names of the five persons “as the process has not yet been completed”.

Under the CLTPA, offenders issued with detention orders can be detained for 12-month periods, subject to annual reviews.

The Act is typically used to cripple gang activities and local syndicates, especially in cases where witnesses are unwilling to come forward. It was last renewed in 2009 and will be up for review again in October next year.

The nine others who were also arrested for alleged involvement in the global match-fixing syndicate had been released on bail.

For this group, “investigations are still ongoing and we are unable to provide further details at this point”, the ministry said.

The syndicate that was busted in the joint operation, conducted by the Singapore Police Force and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, was recently described by Mr Ronald Noble, Secretary-General of inter-governmental police body INTERPOL, as the “world’s largest and most aggressive ... with tentacles reaching every continent, and the mastermind was someone many believed was untouchable”.

An AP report last month said the crackdown was the result of investigations by the Singapore authorities and not in response to requests from foreign law enforcement agencies. It is believed none of the matches in question were in Singapore or Malaysia.

In February, at an INTERPOL conference in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Noble had urged action against Tan.

The conference was held following a report earlier from Europol, the European police agency, which said a Singapore-based syndicate was allegedly behind a global match-fixing ring involving 425 people, including players and officials from 15 countries.

It is said to have directed match-fixing in 380 European football matches, raked in profits of around €8 million (S$13 million), and paid out some €2 million in bribes.

Sources close to the investigations said Tan has been on the radar of the Singapore authorities since 2011. In May this year, it was reported that he was assisting with investigations after being charged in Hungary with fixing 32 games in three countries.

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