Fri, Sep 20, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Arrests hailed as breakthrough in fight against fixing

AP, ROME

Six of the 14 people arrested in Singapore in what is being hailed as a major breakthrough in the battle against corruption in soccer are linked to ongoing European investigations, Interpol said yesterday.

The global network’s suspected mastermind was among the 12 men and two women taken into custody in police raids lasting 12 hours across Singapore, ending early on Tuesday.

“Among the 14 persons who have been arrested six persons are linked to ongoing European investigations or prosecutions such as those coming out of Italy, Germany, Finland and Hungary as examples,” Interpol, the police body based in Lyon, France, said in a statement. “All 14 are Singaporean nationals.”

In Italy, the prosecutor leading an inquiry into international match-fixing said he would like to question the suspected ringleader.

“It’s big news,” Cremona prosecutor Roberto di Martino said. “It shows that our inquiry means something on an international level.”

“Now we need to explore the diplomatic channels to see what we can do,” Di Martino said. “I’m not sure if our treaties permit [extradition]. Plus, these arrests appear to also be linked to their [Singapore’s] own investigation. Others have been arrested, too, including women, that don’t appear to have anything to do with our inquiry. I think there are some elements from our inquiry involved, and some from theirs.”

A high-level police official sais that those arrested include Tan Seet Eng, widely known as Dan Tan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the detention publicly.

Prosecutors in Italy have accused Dan Tan of coordinating a global crime syndicate that made millions of dollars betting on rigged Italian matches and other games across the world.

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