Two S'poreans nabbed in Moldova for match fixing
Two Singaporean men were arrested in Moldova last Saturday for an alleged attempt to fix a match involving the country's national youth football team, according to Moldova-based ProTV Chisinau.
In the report, which was aired on the day of arrests, the broadcaster claimed that the Singaporeans had tried to bribe Moldovan Football Federation administrators with 50,000 euros (S$75,000) for Moldova's Under-21 team to lose their match against the Belgium Under-21 team.
The match is a Uefa Under-21 championship qualifier scheduled for March 31 in Leuven, Belgium.
The report did not name the men but said they would be detained for 30 days and that they had been in the eastern European nation for a few months.
ProTV Chisinau reported that the pair had approached the Moldovan Football Federation and offered to arrange friendly matches.
The nation's anti-graft body, the National Anti-Corruption Centre of Moldova (CNA), believes they had plans to rig those matches and bet on the outcomes.
CNA prosecutor Eugen Balan said: "They tried to influence decision-makers from the Moldovan Football Federation to fix Under-21 matches in order to win money from gambling."
One of the matches was to be the one against Belgium's Under-21 team.
Mr Balan said: "They proposed a bribe of 50,000 euros to lose by three goals."
The Singaporeans have been charged with attempting to fix that match and have been served with arrest warrants for 30 days.
Neither they nor their lawyers wanted to comment on the situation.
When approached by ProTV Chisinau, one of the men's lawyer said: "I do not have to comment. My client instructed me not to say anything."
The report also highlighted that 12 people had been questioned by Moldovan authorities regarding a match-fixing scheme.
Six of them were detained for 72 hours.
It was unclear if the investigation on the 12 men was tied to the Singaporeans' case.
Nevertheless, the arrests have sparked chatter in local betting circles.
A few sources indicated that one of the Singaporean suspects is a former player in a local football club.
He was also said to have a previous drug conviction.