Ex-wife of alleged match-fixer lied to CPIB about laptops: Judge

Guan arriving at the State Courts yesterday. During her trial last month, she had claimed ignorance of her former husband's alleged involvement in international match-fixing in June 2013 until she was confronted with newspaper reports, whereupon she
Guan arriving at the State Courts yesterday. During her trial last month, she had claimed ignorance of her former husband's alleged involvement in international match-fixing in June 2013 until she was confronted with newspaper reports, whereupon she admitted she knew about the allegations against him.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

She told investigator she had left home without the devices, which she knew had incriminating evidence

After a two-day trial, the third wife of alleged match-fixing kingpin Dan Tan Seet Eng was yesterday found guilty of lying to an anti-graft investigator about two of his laptops, which she was trying to hide from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Guan Enmei, 41, had said during an interview at the bureau's office on June 6, 2013 that she had left her home with only a handbag and had not brought along a paper bag containing the laptops. But this was a lie.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo, in her brief grounds of decision, said Guan knew the laptops contained incriminating evidence and wanted to hide them from CPIB.

The judge also said Guan was not a credible witness and had lied while testifying in court.

"(Guan) projected herself as a meek housewife who was ignorant of her husband's activities and business. She claimed she did not know and she did not ask him anything.

"I did not believe her. She struck me as a savvy, knowledgeable and capable lady. Hence, I did not believe that she would docilely do whatever Dan Tan asked her to do without questioning what and why," said the judge.

During her trial last month, Guan had claimed ignorance of Tan's alleged involvement in international match-fixing in June 2013 until she was confronted with newspaper reports, whereupon she admitted she did know about the allegations against him.

The court heard that on June 6 that year, Tan was asked to report to CPIB's office in Lengkok Bahru. Before he left home, he told Guan to take two laptops from the study, place them in a bag and hand him the bag after he was released.

That afternoon, Guan was herself told to report to the bureau.

As her usual driver was unable to pick her up from her home, he arranged for another driver to do so.

When the driver arrived at her home, Guan placed a white Dior paper bag in the back seat before getting into the front passenger seat.

She phoned Tan's alleged accomplice, Eric Ding Si Yang, for advice about the two laptops in the bag while on the way to the bureau.

On arriving at CPIB's carpark, Guan met her usual driver and asked him to hold on to the bag for her until she came out of the building. He then waited with it at a nearby coffee shop, where it was later seized by graft investigators.

When questioned about the bag and laptops by a CPIB investigator, Guan insisted she did not know anything about them.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmin Kaur asked for four to six months' jail, saying Guan's action was "akin to an attempt to obstruct the course of justice".

Defence lawyer Foo Cheow Ming said the false information Guan gave was relatively minor and had minimal impact, if any, on CPIB's investigations into Tan's alleged match-fixing activities.

He asked for a conditional discharge or a fine.

Guan is expected to be sentenced next Monday. She is out on $10,000 bail. The maximum penalty for giving false or misleading information to a CPIB investigator is a $10,000 fine and one year's jail.

Tan, described by Interpol as "the leader of the world's most notorious match-fixing syndicate", is being detained without trial under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act for the second time. Now 52, he was first arrested on Sept 16, 2013.

Guan was Tan's third wife. She divorced him in July last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-wife of alleged match-fixer lied to CPIB about laptops: Judge'. Print Edition | Subscribe