Bangkok Post

Police arrest ‘notorious’ match-fixing syndicate boss


SINGAPORE: A football match-fixing ring based in Singapore was the world’s ‘‘largest and most aggressive’’ such operation, the Interpol chief said in remarks published yesterday after the arrest of the group’s suspected mastermind.

Internatio­nal Criminal Police Organisati­on 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 Straits Times newspaper quoted Noble as saying that the arrests were the result of cooperatio­n between Singapore and Interpol’s Global Anti-MatchFixin­g Task Force.

The Interpol chief spoke to the local media after attending a ceremony for the constructi­on of an Interpol complex in Singapore.

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 fivecountr­y probe had identified 380 suspicious matches targeted by a Singaporeb­ased betting cartel.

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