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New name in match-fixing syndicate?

August 1, 2011 - 1:00am

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PHOTO: Stern Magazine

A NEW name, believed to be that of the leader of a Singapore match-fixing syndicate, has emerged following a report in a German magazine.

Mr Dan Tan is described as a financier for Wilson Raj Perumal’s syndicate by Stern in its July 28 issue.

However, when contacted, he initially denied all links to convicted football match-fixer Wilson Raj, only to admit having worked with him later.

Said Mr Tan, whose photo was printed in Stern: “No, I’m not Dan (Tan). I’m Tan Seet Eng.

“Why I’m suddenly described as a match-fixer, I don’t know. I’m innocent.”

The German magazine had also identified his home, and on Friday, The New Paper visited the Rivervale Crest condominium unit in Sengkang.

We were greeted by a woman at the door. We asked if this was the home of Mr Dan Tan.

She told us in Mandarin that it was.

We tried to get a second confirmation if this was Dan Tan Seet Eng’s home.

Again she replied “yes”, and said she was his wife. She then said that her husband was not in.

Two hours later, we received a call from Mr Tan.

He said: “That photo resembles me. It’s (the photo) very blur. But I don’t recognise the shirt. I think they (Stern) made a mistake.”

Not according to Stern, who said it had received its information from Finnish police sources.

The Stern report said that Wilson Raj, 46, who was arrested in February for match-fixing in the Finnish football league and later sentenced to two years’ jail, had identified Mr Tan as the “Singapore leader”.

In April, two other sources close to the Finnish probe had also told TNP that Wilson Raj had named MrTan during his interviews with Finnish police.

In May, European investigators were reported to have requested Fifa for the identities of two Singaporean financiers.

TNP also understands that a “Dan”, along with close to 50Singapore-registered numbers, appeared in the directory of Wilson Raj’s confiscated mobile phone.

A hand-drawn diagram by Wilson Raj showing his syndicate’s ties to counterparts in Hungary, Slovenia and Bulgaria was also published.

The diagram, used as evidence, showed that the syndicate placed most of its bets in China.

Stern also mentioned that referee Ibrahim Chaibou, who officiated games which were being investigated by Fifa – Nigeria v Argentina and Bahrain v Togo – was on the payroll of the “Dan Tan cartel”.

Mr Tan, who is in his 40s, refuted the allegations, claiming that he did not know Wilson Raj personally.

But when we pointed out his past post as the director of Exclusive Sports, the Singapore company named in El Salvador and Finland for questionable “investments”, MrTan decided to explain further.

“I’m not the director any more...I was director (of Exclusive Sports) only for a few months,” he said.

“I agreed to become the director when a friend, who had known Wilson, said if we invested (in the company), we could earn some money.

“My friend and I were supposed to fork out a sum between $80,000 and $100,000. But I took my name out of the company after I smelled something fishy.

“They never delivered what they promised, so I withdrew. In business, who wants to lose money?”

A check revealed that Mr Tan had been director of Exclusive Sports from last November to February.

Exclusive Sports was formerly known as Football Four U – a company started by Wilson Raj.

Exclusive Sports had been in the spotlight for offering Finnish football club Tampere United 300,000 euros (S$540,000) in a deal late last year that would allow football players from Asia, Africa and Latin America to be showcased there.

The club has been expelled from this season’s league following match-fixing allegations.

In El Salvador, Exclusive Sports was alleged to have organised a dodgy match between Costa Rica and El Salvador last October.

Mr Tan said: “Maybe Wilson or Exclusive Sports was not happy with me for pulling out of the venture. Maybe that’s why he had named me to investigators.

Bad luck

“Anybody involved with Wilson gets bad luck. He has a criminal record. It’s not good for Singaporeans to do business with him.”

Neither the Singapore authorities nor foreign match-fixing investigators have contacted Mr Tan.

Mr Tan also denied knowing Anthony Santia Raj, the other Singaporean named by Fifa as the organiser of the international friendlies in Antalya, Turkey.

Santia Raj, who used to work for Wilson Raj, was said to be at “war” with Wilson Raj in his letters to TNP.

Wilson Raj wrote that Santia Raj had betrayed him by selling matches to other investors.

TNP understands that Santia Raj had shifted his allegiance from Wilson Raj to one other Singaporean financier.

Santia Raj could not be contacted. He is believed to have left Singapore, reported The Straits Times.

Said Mr Tan: “I don’t know him (Santia Raj) and have never met him. I know of Anthony only from what I read in the newspapers and heard at the coffee shop.

“If there’s anything against me, I can take it to court and fight it.”

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