Jailed for bid to fix football match at SEA Games

The first of four men accused of trying to fix a football match at the South-east Asian Games this year was sentenced to 30 months' jail yesterday.

Indonesian national Nasiruddin, who goes by one name, helped to bribe an agent for the Timor Leste football team to get the players to throw their May 30 match against Malaysia.

The unemployed man, 52, pleaded guilty to one charge of corruption, while another charge of trying to bribe at least seven Timor Leste players was taken into consideration.

The court heard how Nasiruddin, a former football referee, visited Singapore from Batam in March to meet Singaporean bookie Rajendran Kurusamy, 55.

Nasiruddin contacted former Timor Leste footballer Moises Natalino de Jesus, 32, who then allegedly approached Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, 49, the technical director of the Football Federation of Timor Leste.

The four met on May 28 at the Orchid Country Club in Yishun, where Rajendran allegedly offered Orlando $15,000 to persuade some of the Timor Leste players to lose to Malaysia.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau arrested the quartet a few hours after the meeting. The match proceeded two days later, with Malaysia winning 1-0.

District Judge Salina Ishak said that Nasiruddin had come to Singapore solely to commit crime by exploiting "a vulnerable team of young players".

Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Nasiruddin could have been fined up to $100,000, jailed for up to five years, or both.

His three alleged co-conspirators will have their cases heard at a pre-trial conference tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2015, with the headline 'Jailed for bid to fix football match at SEA Games'. Print Edition | Subscribe