Hougang United club employee on CBT charge

Hougang United said the police report was made on the day of the incident in December 2018 and the Football Association of Singapore has been notified.
Hougang United said the police report was made on the day of the incident in December 2018 and the Football Association of Singapore has been notified.PHOTO: HOUGANG UNITED

Female admin assistant in Hougang United accused of taking $278,200 from clubhouse

A female employee from Singapore Premier League (SPL) club Hougang United has been arrested and charged in court for having allegedly misappropriated $278,200 from their clubhouse operations.

Admin assistant Tean Tai Tee, a 24-year-old Malaysian, was charged in court on Dec 16 last year with one count of criminal breach of trust (CBT) by a clerk or servant.

She is said to have committed the offence between Nov 29 and Dec 11.

Tean's bail was set at $100,000 and she is due back in court on March 12. If convicted, she can be jailed for up to 15 years, and fined.

Hougang confirmed with The Straits Times a police report was made on the day of the incident, but declined further comment.

A Football Association of Singapore spokesman said: "The FAS is aware of this matter, and had raised various inquiries with the club.

"A police report had been made, and the police have also arrested a club staff in connection with this matter. As the matter is currently under police investigation, we will not be able to comment further."

Currently, six of nine Singapore Premier League clubs - Hougang, Albirex Niigata, Balestier Khalsa, Geylang International, Home United and Warriors FC - run jackpot-machine operations at their respective clubhouses.

Depending on the size of their clubhouse operations, they typically hold a few hundred thousand dollars in cash for winner payouts.

In recent years, the Government has tightened the guidelines on operators of jackpot machines.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2017, seven clubs that did not meet the criteria to operate fruit machines were given six-month interim permits to wind down their jackpot operations by the end of April last year.

These included former S-League (now rebranded as Singapore Premier League) clubs Gombak United and Tanjong Pagar United.

SPL clubs have had to abide by new rules that include shorter opening hours and stricter membership regulation. From last December, they also had to remove some machines from their clubhouses, as part of the MHA's move to further reduce the number of such machines in the country.

The first reduction took place last November and clubs can have up to 15 machines by this November.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2019, with the headline 'Club employee on CBT charge'. Print Edition | Subscribe