Singaporean bookie and Timor Leste team manager charged for plotting to throw match

SINGAPORE - The manager of the Timor Leste SEA Games football team was charged on Saturday for corruption, after he allegedly agreed to be paid if he arranged for his team to lose.

Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, 49, who is also the technical director of the Football Federation of Timor Leste, was charged with a former Timor Leste football player, Moises Natalino de Jesus, 32. Two others also face corruption charges - Singaporean Rajendran Kurusamy, 55, and his associate, Indonesian national Nasiruddin, 52.

Some members from the Timor Leste team are also helping in investigations, said the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) on Friday.

Rajendran allegedly conspired with Nasiruddin, Moises and another unknown person to give $15,000 to Orlando as a reward to arrange for the Timor Leste football team to lose in their opening match against Malaysia on Saturday.

Rajendran and Orlando allegedly met at the Orchid Country Club on May 28. They were arrested one day later by CPIB, acting on tip-offs.

Both Orlando and Rajendran denied the charges in court.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nicholas Khoo asked for the four men to be remanded for a week for investigations to be completed.

He noted that the case was a large operation that involved "many persons of interest" and "not all have been apprehended".

The men are remanded at the Central Police Division and the case will be heard again on June 5.

This was not Rajendran's first brush with the law. He had received a 27-month jail sentence in 1997 for attempting to bribe three S-League players.

Two years later, he was jailed another 24 months for agreeing to give $20,000 to a prison warder to smuggle him a mobile phone. He had used the phone to make football bets and illegal personal calls.

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