Court freezes alleged match-fixer's assets
Rajendar Prasad Rai found to have amassed $3.8 million in unexplained wealth
An alleged match-fixer will not be able to profit from his four properties or deal with cash in three bank accounts after a Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) report found he had amassed $3.8 million in unexplained wealth over six years.
The High Court issued the order against Rajendar Prasad Rai, 43, placing a charge on the properties and preventing him from disposing of the cash, after a three-day hearing.
Rai is being investigated for possible offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.
He has a separate match-fixing case in the State Courts.
Senior Judge Lai Siu Chiu explained the decision to restrain Rai from disposing the funds from his four properties and three United Overseas Bank accounts in judgment grounds issued last week.
The judge said there was "indirect proof" of Rai's "unexplained wealth" of $3,811,127 held between January 2009 and September 2015, which is "likely to be derived from his criminal conduct".
The Public Prosecutor had applied for the order based on the CPIB report analysing concealed income in relation to Rai's financial affairs.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng said the methodology used to compute the relevant sums was based on established practice used here and in the United States.
Rai, whose criminal activities were suspected to have begun in 2009, worked for only about seven months up to February 2009, and his flight attendant wife stopped working in 2002.
He paid income tax totalling some $20,000 for 2013 and 2015.
The 17-page report also factored the couple's rental income from all their properties and Rai's winnings from Singapore Pools of $546,840 and $790,830 from bets of $279,000 and $362,500 in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
The analysis included his alleged inheritance of $1 million cash from his late father and a unit in Chancery Court in his name, as well as the couple's living expenses.
Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan and lawyer Jason Lim, in defending Rai, challenged the report, arguing that the court must be satisfied that the benefits had been derived by Rai from drug dealing or from criminal conduct.
The defence contended this requirement was missing in Rai's case, who was a "very successful punter".
The defence also countered with an accounting expert's report against the CPIB analysis, and the judge noted the criticisms were "not unfounded".
But the judge said the court cannot overlook the fact that a person of Rai's "reasonably modest means and who of late (with his wife) was not gainfully employed, possessed wealth far in excess of his known means and sources of income".