Police refute allegations in BBC World Service Radio report

The police have refuted allegations in a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service Radio report on Sept 20, concerning Singapore's commitment to fighting match-fixing, following the arrest of 14 persons suspected to be involved in a match-fixing syndicate earlier last week.

In a statement on Monday, the police said it is regrettable that BBC has allowed its interviewee, Mr Declan Hill, to make baseless allegations "without asking for his basis or any substantiation".

"The Singapore authorities reject these serious allegations which are false and have cast negative aspersions on the high standing and integrity of our enforcement and judiciary system. Should the BBC or its interviewees have evidence that substantiate any of the allegations made against the Singapore authorities, or on match-fixing syndicates in Singapore, we advise that you contact us immediately to share such evidence so that action can be taken," said the police.

Responding to the police's statement, the BBC said that it had received a complaint from the police and is investigating. "We will respond direct to them once this investigation is complete. The BBC strives for balance and impartiality and in line with our editorial guidelines we asked the Singapore Police Force for comment but were not granted an interview. A similar request in March was also declined," its spokesman added in a statement on Monday.

Among the 14 persons arrested was businessman Dan Tan Seet Eng, 48, whose alleged ring has apparently rigged over 150 matches in countries including Italy, Hungary, Finland and Nigeria. Nine persons have since been released on bail pending further investigations while five are still being detained.

Police said the arrest of the 14 suspects by the Singaporean authorities was a culmination of its concerted effort since 2011 to investigate into allegations of Singaporeans involved in global match-fixing, which is a transnational crime involving a complex network of organised syndicates across many borders and legal jurisdictions.

The police added that it had invested significant resources and worked closely with the Interpol Global Anti-Match-fixing Taskforce, including sharing information, which was vital for the eventual operation against the syndicate. Investigations are ongoing.

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