Singapore’s Middle Finger to the Sporting World

Well this is interesting.

Dan Tan the man Interpol once described him as the “the mastermind and leader of the world’s most notorious match-fixing syndicate” has been  released from jail by a Singapore Appeal’s Court judge.

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Three technically accurate points and a chronology:

1)    It is technically true, the appeal judge’s assessment is accurate: there is no available evidence that Tan ever fixed a match in Singapore.

2)    It is technically true that Interpol described Tan, after he was arrested, as “the mastermind and leader of the world’s most notorious match-fixing syndicate”.

3)    It is technically true that – in the fight against match-fixing – Interpol officials are, generally, a group of gutless wimps who have as much as credibility in this area as a Nevada brothel’s drug rehabilitation program.

An example of their lack of credibility in this area:

They once disinvited a keynote speaker from their match-fixing conferences when he said Singaporean authorities should arrest Dan Tan.

I know this is true, because I was the speaker.

Seriously.

The organisers came up to me after my speech at an Interpol conference in Rome and said, “You will never speak at another of our anti-match-fixing events. You cannot name specific countries or individuals who are involved in match-fixing.”

This was in January 2013. It occurred after European police had asked (begged might be a better verb) Interpol to press Singaporean authorities to arrest and extradite Dan Tan.

Here is the chronology of the whole, sad affair. Read it and understand why, in my opinion, Interpol and Singapore suffer from massive credibility issues in dealing with match-fixing:

1990s to 2011:    Dan Tan and other Singaporean-Malaysian fixers run a match-fixing network that stretches around the world.

September 2008:    I publish ‘The Fix’ – laying out some of the activities and reach of the Singaporean-Malaysian gang of match-fixers.  In the next three years, the Greek anti-corruption authorities, the Finnish national police and a number of other European law enforcement agencies use the book (and cite it in legal documents) in building cases against the fixers.

February 2011: Wilson Raj Perumal – a middle-ranking fixer in the network – is arrested in Finland.  He almost immediately names Dan Tan as the boss of the network.

August 2011:        Wilson Raj Perumal is convicted. He specifically mentions in court documents Dan Tan and describes him as the key individual in the fixing network.

September 2011 – December 2012:

A number of European police forces try to get Dan Tan extradited to their countries so he can stand trial for fixing games.  They build up tens-of-thousands of pages of evidence against Tan.

Singapore refuses all of their requests and two international arrest warrants the European police try to serve through Interpol.

Tan – presumably – wanders around Singapore destroying any of his computer hard-drives, SIM cards and throwing mobile phones into the sea to ensure there is no link between him and match-fixing in Singapore.

November 2012:    Interpol invites a group of “distinguished academic match-fixing experts” to a conference in Singapore.  None of them mentions Dan Tan or the nest of fixers resident in their host country.

January 2013:   I am disinvited from speaking at any other Interpol conference, at my first (and last) appearance for Interpol when I stated publicly that, ‘Dan Tan must be arrested’.

February 2013:    Europol stages a press conference exposing some of the games and tournaments tarnished by Tan’s network of fixers.  I tweet Tan’s name and begin an informal campaign to press the Singapore to honour the international arrests warrants.

February – September 2013:

Tan – presumably – is still wandering around Singapore still destroying any potential evidence that remains after he was named by Wilson Raj Perumal two-and-a-half years before.

September 2013:    Singapore officials finally get around to arresting Tan.  They hold him under ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation dating back to the British colonial era.

September 23, 2013:   Singapore and Interpol officials have a ‘topping-out’ ceremony to celebrate the near completion of their ‘Global Complex for Innovation’ located in Singapore.

September 2013 – November 2015:        Tan is in jail.  He is – presumably – a ‘stand-up guy’ who refuses to name any possible members of the Asian political and financial establishment or international sporting officials who may have aided his network.

November 2015:    A Singaporean judge orders Tan’s release citing a lack of evidence that Tan has ever committed a crime in their country.

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