From The Straits Times Archives: Who is Dan Tan, the Singaporean businessman and alleged match-fixing kingpin?

Alleged match-fixing mastermind Dan Tan Seet Eng.
Alleged match-fixing mastermind Dan Tan Seet Eng.PHOTO: UNKNOWN

SINGAPORE - Alleged match-fixing mastermind Dan Tan Seet Eng was freed from prison by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday (Nov 25), after it ruled that his detention was unlawful.

 

Described by Interpol as "the leader of the world's most notorious match-fixing syndicate", the 51-year-old had been in detention since October 2013 under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act. 

Here's a look back at what is known about him.

Match-fixing suspect Dan Tan claimed he was set up

Dan Tan Seet Eng, an alleged global match-fixing syndicate kingpin who has been behind bars for over a year, has accused his former buddy - match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal - of setting him up so as to shoulder less blame.

In November 2014, Tan, currently detained under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, failed in his contest against being detained without trial, and has had his detention order extended by another year.

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Alleged match-fixer loses detention challenge

Dan Tan Seet Eng, accused by Interpol of being a global match-fixing syndicate kingpin, failed in his challenge against his detention without trial on Nov 19, 2014.

  • Dan Tan: who is he?

  • Described by friends as an "average Joe".

    Dropped out of secondary school.

    Said to be an avid gambler, punting thousands of dollars at a time on horse racing and football.

    Said to frequent casinos; friends described him as a high-roller.

    Jailed for less than a year in 1990s for being an illegal horse-racing and football bookmaker.

    Said to have fled Singapore in 1994 after losing $1.5 million betting on that year's World Cup. Returned after creditors agreed to let him pay off his debt in instalments.

    Spent most of his free time watching television and monitoring the stock market. Ironically, he rarely watched football.

    Convicted Singaporean match- fixer Wilson Raj Perumal is said to have supplied betting tips to Tan.

    Invested in Perumal's now-defunct sports event promotion company Football Four U (later known as Exclusive Sports).

    When Perumal wanted to buy a share of Finnish football club Tampere United, Tan invested around €300,000 (S$452,000) but withdrew it upon realising Perumal's plan to use the club ownership to manipulate the team's results.

    Upon Perumal's subsequent arrest in Finland, he singled out Tan as the ringleader of a match-fixing syndicate, insisting that Tan instigated a certain Joseph Tan Xie to tip off the Finnish police.

    Described by friends as loyal and that his "soft-heartedness" is his biggest weakness.

    In December 2011, allegedly masterminded the fixing of matches in Italy's Serie A and B.

    Charged in absentia by a Hungarian court in May 2013 for alleged role in fixing matches there.

    Alleged to have manipulated 150 football matches in four continents.

    Named by Interpol as "the leader of the world's most notorious match-fixing syndicate".

    Arrested by the Singapore authorities in September 2013 along with 13 others.

    Had been detained in prison since October 2013 under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act. Released yesterday after detention was ruled unlawful.

The businessman has been in prison since October 2013 after being detained under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which allows for detention without trial.

The orders are up to a year and reviewed annually.

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Four Singaporeans, including Dan Tan, to have detention orders extended for a year

Four Singaporeans will have their detention orders extended for a year, for their involvement in global football match-fixing activities, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a statement on Oct 8, 2014.

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‘Syndicate leader’ linked to bribery of three officials

The man labelled by Interpol as “the leader of the world’s most notorious match-fixing syndicate” apparently had a part to play in arranging prostitutes for three Lebanese officials when they were in Singapore – bribes that are now central to a corruption trial.

Dan Tan Seet Eng’s name surfaced for the first time on Feb 6, 2014, in direct relation to three charges faced by businessman Eric Ding Si Yang, 31, who is accused of bribery in return for fixing an unspecified future match.

To secure the prostitutes, Ding had first called Tan, who then phoned his alleged runner Choo Beng Huat, the court heard. 

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Dan Tan believed to be held on detention order

Dan Tan, the suspected ringleader of a football match-fixing syndicate, will not be getting out of jail anytime soon.

The 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, 2013.

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Dan Tan: The elusive king of fixers?

A secondary school dropout who allegedly went on to head an international match-fixing syndicate, manipulating the results of more than 150 football matches across four continents.

He may be an average Joe to his friends, but Tan Seet Eng – also known as Dan Tan – led a more-than-average life, running a global match-fixing syndicate since 2009 at least.

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Arrest 'spells end of match-fixing ring'

The "death knell" is sounding for a Singapore-linked match-fixing syndicate after the arrest of its suspected mastermind, said a former head of Fifa security on Sept 19, 2013.

Businessman Dan Tan Seet Eng's alleged ring is said to have rigged over 150 matches in countries including Italy, Hungary, Finland and Nigeria. The 48-year-old and 13 other Singaporeans were arrested on Sept 17, 2013.

Former Interpol officer Chris Eaton, who headed the international football authority's security arm, said this is a "major" and "eclectic" group, with hands in nearly every European league.

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Match-fixing ‘ringleader’ caught

Dan Tan Seet Eng, the suspected mastermind of a global match-fixing ring, has been arrested in Singapore.

The 48-year-old businessman, who is wanted in Italy and Hungary, is believed to be among 14 Singaporeans who have been nabbed on suspicion of being part of an organised group of match fixers in an islandwide crackdown.

The 12-hour operation, which ended in the early hours of Sept 18, 2013, was led by the Criminal Investigation Department and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), with support from the police.

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Singaporean Dan Tan charged in Hungary football match-fixing probe

Hungarian prosecutors said on May 24, 2013 that Dan Tan, a notorious Singaporean alleged match-fixer wanted around the world, was charged in absentia along with 44 others suspected of manipulating football matches.

The suspects were indicted after a four-year probe into the alleged manipulation of 32 games across Hungary, Italy and Finland.

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‘Mastermind’ assisting probe

Mr Dan Tan Seet Eng, the Singaporean businessman who is reportedly a match-fixing mastermind who rigged games in Europe, is now helping the Singapore authorities with investigations, police said on Feb 21, 2013.

They did not reveal further information such as when the 48-year-old, wanted by the Italian police, started cooperating with the local authorities.

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Just who is Dan Tan?

Dan Tan Seet Eng has been described to the world as a crime lord, the head of an international match-fixing syndicate, a schemer who manipulated the results of 150 football matches across four continents.

But who is this man who has allegedly turned the world of football upside down, an elusive Singaporean whose alias, Dan Tan, is on every match-fixing report filed by Interpol and Europol officers, and on the wanted list of the Italian police?

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