Photo confirms link between Dan Tan and Bulgarian kelong suspect
Photo of alleged kelong kingpin Dan Tan Seet Eng with Bulgarian Kostadin Hadzhiivanov surfaces on Facebook
They were snapped posing with Frankenstein's monster and looking like other visitors having a fun time at a theme park.
But the existence of this photograph, probably taken a few years ago, points to a link between two men accused of match fixing in Italy.
It shows alleged kelong kingpin Dan Tan Seet Eng, 51, with Bulgarian Kostadin Hadzhiivanov, ex-owner of Bulgarian Belasitsa FC.
In 2012, they were named in an Italian probe that had identified 17 people as responsible for rigging at least 30 matches in Serie A and B since 2008.
The syndicate was said to have earned millions in betting profits from the fixed matches.
Mr Terry Steans, former Fifa global investigator, told The New Paper yesterday: "The link between Dan and Kostadin is documented in evidence taken by police investigators in Italy, Finland and Greece. Europol has also investigated Kostadin.
"The photograph shows Kostadin and Dan together, cementing that link between them."
Similarly, a highly-placed source close to the Italian investigation told TNP: "This picture means that they can't deny not knowing each other."
The links were discovered thanks to Tan's third ex-wife, Madam Guan Enmei, who uploaded a series of photos of her family together with Caucasian guests on Facebook.
The images were still online when Tan was released last Wednesday after the Court of Appeal ruled that his detention under the Criminal Law Temporary Provisions Act was unlawful.
However, the photos were removed before he was re-arrested on Tuesday night.
So who is Hadzhiivanov?
In August last year, online news portal sportekspres.com reported that he was accused of rigging a match between Romania's Steaua Bucharest and Bulgaria's Ludogorets.
Hadzhiivanov is also wanted by Interpol for match fixing in Albania and several Balkan countries, reported sportekspres.com.
Then 42, he first came into prominence in 2008 when he was arrested in Greece for alleged cigarette smuggling. A year later, the Bulgarian authorities investigated him for money laundering.
In late 2011, his name resurfaced in Cremona, Italy, where authorities had issued arrest warrants for 17 people - Italian footballers, Balkan gang members and three Singaporeans including Tan - following a kelong probe.
The Cremona probe accused Hadzhiivanov of "belonging to the association since 2009 (and) he entertained close contacts for the purpose of manipulating football matches" supposedly with Tan and other suspects.
The Italian investigator added: "Hadzhiivanov is not directly related to the Italian match fixing, but he's a very important boss in the whole scheme.
"He could possibly be one of the six major stakeholders (in Tan's alleged syndicate)."
Madam Guan also uploaded a photo of Hadzhiivanov's wife Radostina, who was Mrs Bulgaria 2004.
In February 2013, she became a shareholder of Vas Interactive, an IT solutions company here.
Coincidentally, convicted match-fixer Eric Ding Si Yang was made director of the company in March 2012.
Hadzhiivanov has been a shareholder of Vas Technologies since December 2012.
HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER SAYS...
Whether a second detention order is issued for alleged match-fixing kingpin Dan Tan Seet Eng will depend on what the latest investigations turn up, said Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam.
From the Court of Appeal's judgment, it agrees on principle that match-fixing activities fall under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, but why Tan's last detention order was deemed unlawful stemmed from the way the detention order was drafted, said Mr Shanmugam.
He added: "On the facts of Tan's case, the Court of Appeal said that the detention order did not comply with the requirements set out in the act and the detention order did not adequately set out the grounds which justify the detention.
"I said it before, I'll say it again. We accept the judgment and we proceed from their judgment."
Mr Shanmugam was speaking at a press conference during which he clarified comments made following Tan's release last week by the three-judge apex court.
Accused of heading a global football match-fixing syndicate, Tan had been detained without trial since October 2013.
Last Wednesday, the Court of Appeal released him, saying the detention could not be justified as the grounds of detention did not suggest that his activities had a bearing on public safety, peace and good order within Singapore.
Tan was re-arrested on Tuesday evening for his suspected involvement in criminal activities and has been detained pending police investigations. Should a second detention order be issued against him, it will "set out the grounds in full", said Mr Shanmugam.
Asked if the re-arrest is in response to external pressures, he said: "We do what is right. We don't arrest or release people based on international pressure. We do what is right for Singapore." - Elizabeth Law
DAN TAN SEET ENG (TOP LEFT)
- Alleged international match-fixing mastermind.
- He has been wanted in Italy since late 2011 for allegedly fixing more than 30 matches in Serie A and B since 2008.
KOSTADIN HADZHIIVANOV (TOP RIGHT)
- Like Tan, the Bulgarian's name is on the arrest list.
- He is allegedly a shareholder in Tan's international syndicate.
- Hadzhiivanov has been a shareholder of IT solutions company Vas Technologies since 2012.
MRS RADOSTINA HADZHIIVANOVA (ABOVE RIGHT)
- The Mrs Bulgaria 2004 is a model and fashion designer. She has two children.
- Since February 2013, she has been a shareholder of Vas Interactive, where Ding is the director.
ERIC DING SI YANG (ABOVE LEFT)
- Serving six years in jail for match fixing and perverting the course of justice during investigations into global match fixing by the authorities here.
- He was appointed director of Vas Interactive in March 2012.