Two Singaporeans charged for fixing matches played in Turkey
SINGAPORE – Agence France-PresseTwo Singaporeans have been charged with corruption for involvement in match-fixing in Turkey in 2013, court documents showed on Oct. 7.
In a fresh case that highlights the global reach of football-rigging syndicates in the city-state, Rajendar Prasad Rai, 42, and Shree Manish Kalra, 22, each face three charges at a district court.
Two were lodged on Oct. 5 and the other in late September.
One accuses Rai of “instigating” Kalra to give 25,000 euros ($28,185) to a Macedonian national, Marjan Stojanchevski, and two countrymen to fix the outcome of a match between SC Charleroi of Belgium and VVV Venlo of Holland on Jan. 11, 2013 in Antalya, Turkey.
Another charge says Rai asked Kalra to give 15,000 euros to the same Macedonians to fix a game between Steaua Bucuresti and Dynamo Moscow on Feb. 3, 2013 in Antalya.
The third charge alleges Rai asked Kalra to give 27,000 euros to the same people to fix a match between Sturm Graz and Steaua Bucuresti on Feb. 1, 2013 in Antalya.
Kalra allegedly handed the money to the Macedonians in all three instances.
The charge sheets did not give details of the Macedonians, but a Marjan Stojanchevski is described as a linesman or referee on several football sites.
Each charge is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a maximum fine of $70,315 or both.
In a separate case, Rai and another Singaporean are accused of trying to bribe three or four players of a local football team, Singapore Recreation Club, in the local S. League in July 2014.
Singapore has a long history of match-fixing scandals, a stain on its reputation as one of Asia’s least corrupt countries for business and government.
Last month a Singaporean man described by state prosecutors as “a criminal match-fixer extraordinaire” was sentenced to four years in jail for conspiring to rig a match in the recent Southeast Asian Games.
Rajendran R. Kurusamy, 55, pleaded guilty to bribing the manager and players of East Timor’s under-23 football team to lose a preliminary match against Malaysia scheduled for May 30 in Singapore, which hosted the games.
In 2013 police arrested Dan Tan, the notorious alleged mastermind of a global match-fixing ring linked to hundreds of rigged football games worldwide.
He is still being held under a law, usually applied to members of criminal gangs, which allows for detention without trial.
Singaporean businessman Eric Ding is serving a five-year jail sentence for providing prostitutes to Lebanese football referees to try to influence international matches in April 2013.
Experts have said that easy international transport, a passport accepted around the world and fluency in English and Mandarin have helped Singaporean fixers spread their influence - with the support of external investors, most believed to be from China.