SINGAPORE - The Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Thursday refuted news reports that convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal had been released from police custody in Finland. This is reportedly after the SPF had failed to respond to an extradition offer by their Finnish counterparts.
Singapore, however, does not have an extradition treaty with Finland, The Straits Times understands.
According to news reports in Finland this week, the 48-year-old Singaporean was freed even though a district court of Vantaa - a city north of the Finnish capital Helsinki - had sentenced him to three months' probation for a border offence and forgery on May 28. Those news reports also claimed that the current whereabouts of Wilson Raj were unknown.
The SPF, however, confirmed on Thursday that it was in touch with the police in Finland. "According to the Finnish Police, Wilson Raj remains in their custody," said a spokesman." We are working with our Finnish counterparts to explore options to bring Wilson Raj back to Singapore."
Wilson Raj has been a wanted man here since 2009. He was charged in May that year with injuring an auxiliary police officer after being confronted for illegal parking. That earned him a five-year jail term, which he appealed against. He was freed on bail but failed to appear in court as scheduled in July 2010 and was believed to have fled to Europe.
Wilson Raj - who is linked to match-fixing in countries such as Australia and Hungary - was arrested in Helsinki in February 2011 for bribing players in the Finnish league, as well as travelling on a forged Singapore passport.
It is believed that his initial arrest helped to spark a global clampdown on match-fixing, resulting in the arrest here of another Singaporean - Dan Tan Seet Eng, who is linked to a syndicate suspected to have fixed matches in Italy.
In response to media queries, the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed on Thursday that four Singaporeans have been detained and one Singaporean placed under a Police Supervision Order on Oct 2 last year for their involvement in global football match-fixing activities.
These actions have been taken in accordance with Singapore laws. Detention orders are reviewed annually by a Review Committee.