SINGAPORE - Businessman Dan Tan Seet Eng, the man said to be the head of a world-wide kelong syndicate, is believed to have been arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau(CPIB).
The 12-hour joint operation early Tuesday morning involving the CID, CPIB and Police Intelligence Department also led to 13 other arrests, which included two women. They are aged between 38 and 60. The New Paper understands that Tan is among them.
Italy's investigating magistrate Guido Salvini, whose government had issued an arrest warrant for Tan in late December 2011, told TNP on Wednesday: "This is a surprise but this is really welcome news to come from Singapore."
Tan, 48, and several other Singaporeans, were named in what is known as the Cremona probe.
Interpol secretary general Ronald K. Noble said in a press release on Wednesday that Singapore had taken an important step in "cracking down on an international match-fixing syndicate".
Million of euros involved
The Italian authorities have accused Tan and his syndicate of making millions of euros from manipulating Italy's Serie A and Serie B.
He had allegedly done so with the help of counterparts from the Balkans. Yet, TNP understands that Tan is also "a person of interest" in other jurisdictions like Finland, Germany, South Africa and Latin America.
Tan, previously jailed for illegal bookmaking in the 1990s, came into prominence when convicted match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal pointed out Tan's role in the match-fixing syndicate to the Finnish authorities.
Wilson Raj had told the Finns that he was a shareholder in Tan's syndicate, which had links to the Balkans.
As of March 2012, Wilson Raj has been under house arrest in Hungary after serving a two-year sentence for bribery and travelling on a fake passport following his February 2011 arrest in Finland.
In May this year, Hungarian prosecutors had indicted Tan and 44 Hungarians suspected of being involved in an international match-fixing conspiracy that involved 32 local and international matches.
Wilson Raj, 46, is currently helping the Hungarian authorities as a witness in their match-fixing trial.
Tan had denied any wrongdoing when he gave an interview to TNP in August 2011.
He revealed that he had a business dispute with Wilson Raj.
Tan was once a director of Exclusive Sports, a company previously owned by Wilson Raj.
In letters to TNP, Wilson Raj said that most of his former employees had jumped ship and started working for Tan's syndicate.