Monday, June 02, 2014

Inside the Fixing: How a Gang Battered Soccer’s Frail Integrity

After his 2011 arrest in Finland, Wilson Raj Perumal, above right in suit, charted for the police the organization of a Singaporean match-fixing syndicate that he worked for. The syndicate was run by Tan Seet Eng, known as Dan Tan, above top right, who collaborated with Ante Sapina of Croatia, left, to fix hundreds of soccer matches worldwide in nearly every league. Credit Illustration by Sam Manchester/The New York Times; from left, photographs by Sean Gallup/Getty Images, Kaisa Siren/Associated Press and FIFA Report
A New York Times investigation of match fixing ahead of the 2010 World Cup gives an unusually detailed look at the ease with which professional gamblers can fix matches. Read Part 1

By DECLAN HILL — JUNE 1, 2014

ROVANIEMI, Finland — A man arrived at the police station here in 2011 with an unusual tip. He told the police that a Singaporean man was fixing matches with the local professional soccer team. The police were incredulous.

This city on the Arctic Circle is known as the hometown of Santa Claus. It boasts a theme park with reindeer, elves and jolly St. Nicks. It is also a popular destination for Asian couples looking to make love under the Northern Lights. Rovaniemi is known for many things, but not for organized crime.

“Then after a few days, we started to realize that we had something real,” said Arttu Granat, a police detective at the time who hunts moose on the weekends. “So we started to build up the surveillance team.”

The detectives soon discovered that Wilson Raj Perumal, a match fixer from Singapore, was toiling away in Rovaniemi, working with several players, unbeknown to the coach. Mr. Perumal was considered a risk by his associates in a Singaporean match-rigging syndicate, so the group had sent a representative to Finland to tip off the police, Mr. Granat said.

(More here.)

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