Ex-wife of alleged match-fixer admits lying to CPIB

If found guilty, Guan, who is out on $10,000 bail, faces a maximum punishment of a $10,000 fine and a year in jail.
If found guilty, Guan, who is out on $10,000 bail, faces a maximum punishment of a $10,000 fine and a year in jail.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

But she tells court it was not over her then husband's laptops but her mode of transport

The then wife of alleged match-fixing kingpin Dan Tan Seet Eng purportedly knew that his two laptops held incriminating evidence against him - so she removed them from their home to prevent graft investigators from finding them, a court heard yesterday.

Guan Enmei also feigned ignorance about the laptops in an interview with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) after Tan had been taken in for questioning, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jasmin Kaur said at the close of her trial.

Guan, 41, is accused of lying to a CPIB investigator about Tan's computers on June 6, 2013.

Under cross-examination on the second day of the trial yesterday, Guan, a China-born Singaporean who divorced Tan last year, admitted lying to the CPIB, but not in relation to the laptops.

The lie was about taking a taxi, instead of a limousine, she said.

On May 9 last year, two days after she was prosecuted in court for her single charge, Guan sent a letter to the CPIB. It read: "Sir, I am very sorry that I told lies on some issues. I know I am wrong...

"Let me say sorry again. I am wrong. Please give me a chance. I beg you to excuse me."

Asked to explain what she meant by the "lies", Guan said she had been chauffeured by a limousine driver to the CPIB office in Lengkok Bahru, but told an investigator that she had taken a taxi from Rivervale Crescent instead.

This prompted District Judge Lee Poh Choo to ask Guan: "Can you explain why this is so important that you have to write (to the CPIB investigator)?"

Guan replied through a Mandarin translator: "This is the only mistake I made."

She agreed, however, with DPP Kaur's suggestion that she wrote the letter in desperation, hoping for mercy.

But Guan denied knowing Tan's laptops held evidence which he did not want the CPIB to get hold of. "He is not someone who will be happy to let me check his things," she said.

Pointing out that they married in 2003, but she found out about Tan's last marriage in 2008 and another former marriage only in 2013, Guan said: "I was ignorant of my own marriage... Would he allow me to ask about his things?

"I'm just a housewife. As long as I receive my maintenance fee every month that's good enough," she later added.

Guan also initially denied knowing that Tan was being investigated for fixing football matches at the time she was called to the CPIB's office on June 6, 2013.

However, she admitted she had known about it after DPP Kaur showed her an interview she gave to The New Paper in March 2013 in which she said that reports and allegations of Tan's involvement in match-fixing were "100 per cent false and untrue".

"It's so laughable and funny," she told the newspaper.

Pressed by the DPP, Guan agreed that by March 2013, she knew that Tan was being investigated for international match-fixing. "I asked my husband about this, but he said he was not willing to talk about it," she added.

The judge is expected to deliver her verdict on June 13.

If found guilty of knowingly giving false information to a graft investigator, Guan, who is out on $10,000 bail, faces a maximum punishment of a $10,000 fine and one year in 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-wife of alleged match-fixer admits lying to CPIB'. Print Edition | Subscribe