Football: Female staff member of Hougang United charged with CBT over $278,000 clubhouse funds

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

SINGAPORE - An employee of Singapore Premier League club Hougang United has been charged over the loss of more than $250,000 from their clubhouse operations.

While working as an admin assistant, Malaysian Tean Tai Tee allegedly misappropriated $278,200.

The 24-year-old woman was arrested and charged in court on Dec 16, 2018, with one count of criminal breach of trust 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 that the police report was made on the day of the incident.

An FAS spokesman said: "The Football Association of Singapore 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 - Albirex Niigata, Balestier Khalsa, Geylang International, Home United, Hougang and Warriors FC - run jackpot operations at their respective clubhouses.

Depending on the size of their clubhouse operations, they typically hold a few hundred thousand dollars in cash to pay out to winners.

In recent years, clubs with jackpot machines have faced a government crackdown on jackpot machine operators.

 
 
 

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 2018.

These include former S-League (now rebranded Singapore Premier League or SPL) 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 December 2018, 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 in November 2018 and clubs can have a maximum of 15 machines by November 2019.