SINGAPORE — Singapore authorities revoked the citizenship of a man who allegedly belonged to a major syndicate which rigged football matches around the world.
The 43-year-old man, who was not officially identified, was an “active and trusted member of an international match-fixing syndicate which was created in and took root in Singapore,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.
“While a Singapore citizen, the individual conspired with his syndicate members to fix football matches in various countries through corruption of officials and players.”
The man was also accused of traveling for “major global match-fixing activities,” and moving money used as bribes into and out of Singapore.
Because of his involvement in match-fixing, the man was arrested and detained without trial before being released, the statement said. For now, he was under police supervision.
The ministry did not give further details on the countries where matches were fixed. But it said witnesses were afraid of testifying against him and other syndicate members in court.
Local media identified the man as Gaye Alassane, who originated from Mali and used to play in the local S-League.
“Yes, I did those things, but everybody make mistakes, no? I thought I paid for mine already. I don’t know what to say now,” The Straits Times quoted Alassane as saying.
He has 21 days to refer his case to a citizenship committee of inquiry. It can gather and submit a report, which will be considered by the minister of home affairs.
Alassane was reportedly in a syndicate led by businessman Dan Tan, who is accused of coordinating a global crime syndicate that made millions of dollars betting on rigged Italian matches and other games around the world.
Tan was arrested in 2013, released, and re-arrested by the police. He has not been charged with a crime.