Alleged leader of match-fixing syndicate released from jail

© Dylan Martinez
A Singaporean man detained for more than two years for allegedly masterminding a global football match-fixing syndicate is to be released after the court of appeal ruled he was being held unlawfully.

Dan Tan, also known as Tan Seet Eng, has been held under indefinite detention since October 2013. A judge ruled that the detention was unlawful as Tan posed no public threat.

Tan, who has claimed his innocence, is wanted by several countries, including Italy, but Singapore does not have extradition treaties with them.

Interpol believe Tan has rigged hundreds of sports events, mainly football matches, and he is suspected of having fixed matches in Italy's Serie A and Serie B in 2011.

It has previously called the 51-year-old “the mastermind and leader of the world's most notorious match-fixing syndicate.”

Singapore has a law that allows the indefinite detention of suspected criminals without trial. Such detentions are reviewed annually.

The judge, Sundaresh Menon, said that while Tan's alleged activities were “reprehensible and should not be condoned,” there was “nothing to suggest they could have a bearing on public safety, peace and good order.”

“The matches fixed, whether or not successfully, all took place beyond our shores,” he added. "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.”

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