Singapore - An Indian-origin Singaporean has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for fixing a football league match by bribing a referee and a national-level player of Indian-descent here, a media report said today.
Selvarajan Letchuman, 52, yesterday admitted to one charge of corruption and two cheating charges involving 15,500 Singapore dollars (USD 11,111)
He fixed the result of a May 2012 match between teams from Singapore and Sarawak in the Malaysian Super League by bribing Malaysian referee Shokri Nor, 50, and Thanasegar S Sinnaiah, 40, an Indian-origin Malaysian national football player.
Singapore's LionXII won the May 22 match by 3-0.
The result won Selavarajan 20,625 dollars bets placed with the Singapore Pool, which runs lotteries and betting on football. Prior to the match week, Selavarajan had worked out arrangement on bet sharing with Shokri and Thanasegar.
Pressing for a stiff sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Khoo highlighted several aggravating factors, pointing out that Selavarajan has heavily involved in fixing the match result.
"This was the first case where match-fixers have been prosecuted for cheating Singapore Pools by using the public institution to monetise their illegal fix," The Straits Times quoted Khoo as saying.
"A strong message must be sent to the accused and potential match-fixers that Singapore has zero tolerance towards criminals monetising their fixes through our legal betting operator," he said.
Selvarajan, who has two unrelated convictions, had his sentence backdated to November 17 last year.
He could have been fined up to 100,000 Singapore Dollars (USD 71,689) and jailed for up to five years for corruptions; and jailed up to two and a half years and fined for each charge of cheating.
Thanasevgar has been dealt with earlier and is now serving two years jail for his part in the match fixing. Shokri, a Malaysian, is still at large.