Soccer scandal blow to Singapore’s image

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Football GamblingThe biggest-ever international football match-fixing scandal orchestrated by a Singaporean betting cartel has put a dent in Singapore’s corruption-free image and “embarrassed the nation,” according to reports from the city-state.

An international criminal syndicate in Singapore has been found to have fixed more than 600 soccer matches, including World Cup qualifiers and Champions League games, between 2008 and 2011.

While most of the state-linked media in the country downplayed the news, Singapore citizens on social media channels on the internet said they were shocked and concerned that the scandal would harm the island’s squeaky-clean image.

An 18-month investigation by Europe’s police body Europol has found that operations have been run out of Singapore and have been extended to corrupt officials, players and criminals in 15 countries. About 425 suspects were identified. Over 50 people have been arrested and 80 search warrants obtained. Europol officials warned that this was just the “tip of the iceberg.”

No arrests have been made in Singapore as of now, despite multiple agencies in Singapore potentially having jurisdiction in the case. Europol said the betting groups made around $10.7 million after paying out $2.7 million to corrupt players and match officials.

The news has put the city-state’s low-corruption reputation at stake and raised questions about how authorities are dealing with the match-fixing syndicates.

Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index has ranked Singapore as the fifth least corrupt country in the world, coming behind Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and Sweden. According to the list, Singapore is also the least corrupt in Asia, ahead of Japan which ranks 17th and South Korea which ranks 45th. Singapore was also ranked best for Asia in 2011.

However, now major questions will arise as to what the government authorities in Singapore knew, when did they know it, and why this illegal network running out of Singapore was not caught sooner, analysts said, expecting a downgrade of Singapore in this year’s corruption index.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The biggest-ever international football match-fixing scandal orchestrated by a Singaporean betting cartel has put a dent in Singapore’s corruption-free image and “embarrassed the nation,” according to reports from the city-state.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Football GamblingThe biggest-ever international football match-fixing scandal orchestrated by a Singaporean betting cartel has put a dent in Singapore’s corruption-free image and “embarrassed the nation,” according to reports from the city-state.

An international criminal syndicate in Singapore has been found to have fixed more than 600 soccer matches, including World Cup qualifiers and Champions League games, between 2008 and 2011.

While most of the state-linked media in the country downplayed the news, Singapore citizens on social media channels on the internet said they were shocked and concerned that the scandal would harm the island’s squeaky-clean image.

An 18-month investigation by Europe’s police body Europol has found that operations have been run out of Singapore and have been extended to corrupt officials, players and criminals in 15 countries. About 425 suspects were identified. Over 50 people have been arrested and 80 search warrants obtained. Europol officials warned that this was just the “tip of the iceberg.”

No arrests have been made in Singapore as of now, despite multiple agencies in Singapore potentially having jurisdiction in the case. Europol said the betting groups made around $10.7 million after paying out $2.7 million to corrupt players and match officials.

The news has put the city-state’s low-corruption reputation at stake and raised questions about how authorities are dealing with the match-fixing syndicates.

Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index has ranked Singapore as the fifth least corrupt country in the world, coming behind Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and Sweden. According to the list, Singapore is also the least corrupt in Asia, ahead of Japan which ranks 17th and South Korea which ranks 45th. Singapore was also ranked best for Asia in 2011.

However, now major questions will arise as to what the government authorities in Singapore knew, when did they know it, and why this illegal network running out of Singapore was not caught sooner, analysts said, expecting a downgrade of Singapore in this year’s corruption index.

 

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