Interpol have identified potential suspects in Singapore after informant Simone Farina claims bribes were offered from an organisation based here
Several Singaporean suspects have been mooted for arrest by Interpol for their role in Italy’s match-fixing scandal.
This revelation came in a press conference held in Singapore after wanted-man Serbian footballer Almir Gegic was arrested in Italy following a year on the run, coupled with whistle-blower Simone Farina’s statement about Singaporean involvement in the scandal.
Simone Farina, a former player of Italian lower-division club Gubbio, claimed he was offered 200,000 euros ($259,131) by a former team-mate to lose a match last year.
"I was told that this amount was guaranteed because of his support from an organisation based here in Singapore," Farina said at a the press conference reported the AFP.
Interpol chief Ronald Noble, who was also in the press conference, has stated his beliefs that Gegic, who was arrested on suspicions of aiding in match-fixing, is associated to Singapore’s Dan Tan and Tan Seet Eng, and added the two were also reportedly on Italian police’s wanted-list.
"In the near future, Singaporeans will be reading about arrests made here in Singapore of people linked to illegal betting or match-fixing either in Singapore or outside Singapore," said Noble.
Noble also said the scale of football corruption was so large its revenue could rival that of global firms such as Coca-Cola.
"The size of the illegal gambling market has been estimated at close to 500 billion euros per year," he added.
"The sizes of the bets can be in the tens, and even hundreds of thousands of euros. There are estimates that the large Asian bookmakers have revenues on the same scale as the Coca-Cola company."
This is not the first time a Singaporean has been arrested for involvement in match-fixing practises. Wilson Raj Perumal was jailed in Finland in 2011 for his involvement in football corupton.
Perumal has since been released, but was immediately turned over to the Hungarian authorities who want to charge him on match-fixing offences.