Dan Tan, the suspected ringleader of a football match-fixing syndicate, will not be getting out of jail anytime soon.
The 48-year-old Singaporean is believed to be among four alleged members of the syndicate who have been issued detention orders on Wednesday under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which allows for them to be held by the police without trial. A fifth suspect has been issued a police supervision order in lieu of prison detention.
All five were among 14 suspects arrested on suspicion of being part of a global football match-fixing operation, during a raid conducted by the police and anti-graft officers on Sept 17.
The Home Affairs Ministry, without naming the five, confirmed in a statement earlier that detention orders were issued to four persons and a police supervision order given to one. The ministry also said that the remaining nine suspects - believed to include Tan's wife from China - are being investigated for corruption and have been released on bail.
Under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, detention orders must be reviewed annually, and once every three years for police supervision orders.
As a safeguard, reasons to justify each use of the Act must be made to the Attorney-General and to the Home Affairs Minister.
An independent Advisory Committee hearing comprising private citizens such as senior lawyers, will be held within 28 days. At the hearing, detainees may be legally represented. The committee will then present its findings to the President, who has the power to cancel, confirm or vary the order on the advice of the Cabinet.
Historically, the Act - introduced in 1955 - has been invoked to deal with persons such as members of secret societies, syndicates and unlicensed moneylenders, where witnesses may not be keen to testify in court for fear of reprisal.
The law also requires parliamentary renewal once every five years, taking into consideration prevailing circumstances. It was last renewed for the 12th time in 2009.
Tan, who is also wanted in Italy and Hungary, was nabbed after an islandwide crackdown led by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
Former Interpol officer Chris Eaton, who headed the international football authority's security arm, has said that the arrests marked "the death knell" to the syndicate.