Singapore match fixing gang the world’s largest

A football match-fixing ring based in Singapore was the world’s “largest and most aggressive” such operation, according to an Interpol chief.

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.

“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.

A source confirmed to AFP that among those arrested was Singaporean businessman Dan Tan, the syndicate’s suspected head.

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

Tan, whose full name is Tan Seet Eng, has denied involvement in match-fixing.

“Why I’m suddenly described as a match-fixer, I don’t know. I’m innocent,” he told Singapore’s The New Paper in 2011 in his only known media interview.

Tan, however, has a standing warrant for his arrest issued by Italian investigators over the wide-ranging “calcioscommesse“, or football betting, scandal, which implicated a swathe of big names and clubs.

In May, Tan was also charged in Hungary over the alleged manipulation of 32 games in three countries.