Match-fixer jailed 30 months for offering bribes and cheating Singapore Pools

Selvarajan Letchuman had pleaded guilty to corruptly offering RM15,000 to a Malaysian part-time referee in Penang. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A former project manager, who offered a bribe to a Malaysian soccer referee to fix the outcome of a Malaysian Super League match, was jailed for 30 months on Friday for corruption and cheating.

Selvarajan Letchuman, 52, had pleaded guilty to corruptly offering RM15,000 to Malaysian part-time referee Shokri Nor, 50, in Penang, Malaysia, to ensure that LionsXII beat Sarawak FA by at least three goals in a match to be played in Singapore on May 22, 2012.

He had also admitted to scheming with Malaysian former national footballer Thanasegar S. Sinnaiah, 40, and Shokri to cheat Singapore Pools.

He had concealed the fact that arrangements had been made to "fix'' the outcome of the LionsXII and Sarawak FA match and dishonestly induced Singapore Pools to deliver $10,500 and another payout of $5,000 to him for bets he placed on May 22 that year.

The match ended in a 3-0 win for LionsXII.

All three men were arrested before the match kicked off.

Thanasegar is currently serving two years' jail for his involvement after his re-arrest in August last year. Shokri , who had also jumped bail in July 2012, is still on the run.

A district court heard that Selvarajan was in Singapore on May 18 that year when he spoke to Thana in Kedah. They discussed the football match to be played in Singapore on May 22.

The next day, Selvarajan flew to Penang and met the two Malaysians in his hotel room. There, it was agreed between Selvarajan and Shokri that the Singapore LionsXII should beat Sarawak FA by three goals or more.

Selvarajan said he would be betting on the result of the match and that Shokri would receive RM15,000 from the payout of the bets placed and Thana would get a part of the sum.

On the day of the match, Selvarajan met Thana and a mutual friend at the airport. On their way to Orchard Hotel, Selvarajan stopped at two Singapore Pools outlets to place several bets on the match.

Five other charges were taken into consideration. Selvarajan, who has two unrelated convictions, had his sentence backdated to last Nov 17.

He could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to five years for corruption; and jailed up to two and a half years and fined for each charge of cheating.

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