Singapore Frees Alleged Soccer Match-Fixer
Tan Seet Eng, the alleged mastermind of a massive effort to fix soccer matches around the world, is a free man today after a judge ordered his release from a Singaporean jail. Eng’s lawyers successfully argued that their client’s detention was illegal, given the fact that he has not been charged with any crimes in Singapore itself.
The games he allegedly fixed took place mostly in Italy, Finland and Hungary and prosecutors in those countries were eager to see Eng behind bars.
Eng, who was originally arrested in 2013, had been held under a Singaporean law that allows authorities to indefinitely detain a suspect without charges if they think the suspect is a threat to public safety.
Though Judge Sundaresh Menon, who heard the case, ruled that Eng wasn’t a threat to public safety he also stopped well short of saying Eng was an innocent man. According to the Guardian, Menon told Eng:
The matches fixed, whether or not successfully, all took place beyond our shores. There is nothing in the grounds to indicate [he] was working with overseas criminal syndicates or to suggest that such activities are likely to take root in Singapore, by reason of anything [he] has done or threatens to do.
Eng’s legal headaches in Singapore may have dissipated, but he’s still facing charges in other countries including Hungary, where he’d being tried in abstention in the same case.
Tan’s lawyers lauded the judge’s decision and said his client was very relieved to be a free man once again.