that has severely tarnished the reputation of European soccer. Investigators have traced the origin of the match-fixing bets to an organized criminal syndicate in Singapore, led by Tan Seet Eng who is nicknamed Dan.
Roberto Di Martino is leading one of the investigations into the scandal from northern Italy in the town of Cremona. Di Martino says Italian authorities will issue arrest warrants for Dan, but since the alleged mastermind is in Singapore it is up to the local authorities to extradite him for prosecution – which the Italian investigator says is unlikely at this time. Nevertheless, Dan remains the number one suspect in the match-fixing scandal because his name is connected to cases all over Europe.
“We don’t know much about him. We don’t know if he’s a legitimate businessman involved in illegal activity, or if he’s involved in money laundering.”
Authorities have determined that bribes were made through Asian-based online casinos in small bets under $1,000 from multiple accounts, in order to avoid attracting attention. However, members of the syndicate would also fly to Europe and deliver in person bribes. Italian court documents reveal a man arrived at Milan International Airport in November 2011, remained at the airport for approximately 6 hours, and then took a return flight back to Singapore. The authorities believe this man had flown to Italy in order to place illicit bets and deliver bribes to players, referees, and team managers in Europe’s soccer leagues – including the Premier League and the World Cup.
Authorities say Dan is connected to these in-person bets based on testimony from Wilson Raj Perumal, a match-fixer who was arrested in Finland in 2011. Perumal testified that the crime syndicate operates mainly in China, but is financed from leaders in Singapore – of which he named Dan as the chief financer. He also told authorities that after expenses, the match-fixing scandal has returned over $8 million in profits for the organization.
Di Martino says the investigation will continue and expects Dan will be taken to trial – even if he remains in Singapore.