A Singapore press holdings portal

Singapore

Sue-ann Tan
Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014

Singapore

The hunter becomes a wanted man

The New Paper | Sue-ann Tan | Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014

For four years, he has lifted the lid on global match fixing for The New Paper.

It has brought him to the attention of the world's media and the syndicates behind the illegal betting activity.

Now he has written a book about his journey. 

IT ALL STARTED...

In September 2010, I was called to investigate a football match between a fake Togo national team and Bahrain.

I was doubtful and not really excited by the prospect. I'm a crime reporter and knew nothing about football!

I thought it would be a better job for the sports desk but my editor said not to follow the game, but to follow the money.

I thought it would be five stories at most. Nearly 150 stories later, I'm still going.

IT GOT INTERESTING...

The following month, my colleague and I tried to find the business locations of convicted match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal's company, Football Four U.

In Rowell Road, a provision shop stood where the match organising company should be.

I briefly felt that it was a wild goose chase. But the non-existence of the company piqued my news radar. There was more to this than we first thought.

A few days later, a man claiming to be Wilson Raj called to insist he was not involved in the suspicious Togo game. But he boasted that he had organised more international friendly matches than the four Fifa-approved match agents in Singapore.

This made me determined to solve this mystery.

MY STRANGEST ENCOUNTER WAS...

In March 2011, a man claiming to be Wilson Raj's friend wanted to meet to set the record straight.

In 14 years of journalism, I have never seen anything so surreal.

At a void deck, among the stone tables and senior citizens, sat a man wearing a welder's mask!

As I approached him, he called my mobile phone to be sure of my identity. Only then did he start talking.

I was nervous. It could have been a set-up. There is big money in match-fixing and I'm sure whoever was behind it would not want a journalist poking his nose in. I was ready to run.

It was a risk, but I had no choice - I had to meet him alone if I wanted answers.

No comments yet.
Be the first to post comment.