INTERVIEW WITH THE KELONG KING: WILSON RAJ PERUMAL
Wilson Raj perumal
During our stay in Singapore we got in touch with a member of the match-fixing syndicate that prefers to remain anonymous. He told us that Wilson Raj Perumal, currently detained in Hungary after spending a year in Finnish prison, was interested in speaking to us. We gave the person our address.
From Hungarian prison, Wilson began a daily correspondence with us in which he stated his reasons for speaking to the press and in which he explained the workings of the Singaporean match-fixing syndicate of which he is a self-proclaimed shareholder.
"I am Wilson Raj Perumal", he wrote, "I am presently in custody in Hungary".
"I believe you are aware I am now at 'war' with Tan Seet Eng (the most wanted man in Italy) at the moment".
Wilson stated that it was the boss of the match-fixing syndicate and his former superior, a Singaporean called Tan Seet Eng (aka Dan Tan), that set him up to be arrested by Finnish police while he was traveling to Helsinki on a false passport. Wilson added: "The Finnish police had passed a passport copy of Joseph Xie Tan to Mr. Chis Eaton of FIFA. Mr. Eaton then did his investigation and noted Xie Tan was present together with Anthony in Anatolia. Mr. Eaton then relayed this information to Zaihan Yussof, a Singapore reporter. That was how the cat was out of the bag".
Joseph Xie Tan and Anthony Santia Raj are two other former associates of Wilson and alleged members of the match-fixing syndicate headed by Dan Tan. They were responsible for organizing international friendly matches in Anatolia, Turkey, between Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Bolivia. These friendly matches were the object of a probe into match-fixing by FIFA's investigator Chris Eaton. Wilson claimed that Dan Tan, with the help of Joseph Tan and Santia Raj, fingered him to the Finnish police.
"I am sure you are aware of the circumstances on which I was arrested in Finland", Wilson wrote, "Dan Tan and Anthony Santia Raj had worked together to have me arrested in Finland. They had engaged the services of Joseph Xie Tan to execute this plan".
He also added: "All I want to do is to get even with Dan Tan. My circumstances are such that the only tool I can use to even the score with Dan Tan is to go to the media and expose his criminal activity ... I can assure you that what I am about to tell you is all facts and none of these are made up or exaggerated".
We asked Wilson to explain the structure of the match-fixing syndicate and to reveal the names of other individuals and companies involved in match-fixing. Although Wilson refused to identify the financiers of the syndicate, he did agree to disclose information about his arch-rival Dan Tan:
Tan Seet Eng (aka Dan Tan)
TAN SEET ENG (AKA DAN TAN)
"I have known Tan by name since 1992", he wrote, "and I wish to shed light on Tan's history and how he came about to work with Italian players".
"Tan started as an illegal horse racing and football bookie in the early 90's".
"Dan Tan was an ex convict in Singapore. In 1994 he fled from Singapore to save himself from being killed because he was not able to pay up a 1.5 million bet placed during a world up match in 1994", Wilson wrote. Then he added: "He then agreed with the bookies to settle the outstanding by installment and returned to Singapore".
Then Wilson explained that Dan Tan had taken over for the former head of the syndicate in 2008. Wilson claimed that Dan Tan's mentor is an indian businessman from Singapore named Eswaramoorthy Pillay, although he prefers to call him Mr. X.
"After the end of the Malaysia Cup in 1994 the syndicates began to venture into Europe", wrote Wilson, "Dan Tan was a right hand man of the person you mentioned in your mail. I shall call him Mr. X". Wilson then continued: "Mr. X incurred in huge debts from his European partners and left Europe for good. This is when Dan Tan took over for Mr. X. He approached Mr. X's friends in Europe and rekindled the business".
Eswaramoorthy Pillay (right)
We did our own investigations on Eswaramoorthy Pillay and found out some interesting facts. Pillay is presently charged with accounting fraud in Malaysia through his company Linear. He is also an executive of a group called Stanton Technologies, based in Penang, Malaysia. We were told that he had been involved in financing the Swiss teams FC Sion and FC Chiasso, where other members of the match-fixing syndicate (such as Almir Gegic) had played. To verify the allegation we went to Chiasso FC's offices in Switzerland hoping to speak to someone from the club. There was nobody around so we took a look inside the building. That's when we made an interesting discovery. One of the sponsors for FC Chiasso in the season 2007/2008 (when Almir Gegic was playing there) was Stanton, Pillay's Penang company, their logo appears on the official team picture. We were not able to reach Eswaramoorthy Pillay to ask him about Wilson's allegations and about the company Stanton.
Next we decided to call the then-president of FC Chiasso, Marco Grassi, to ask him whether he had known Pillay. Grassi was evasive but he did admit that a man named Eswaramoorthy Pillay had offered to finance the FC Chiasso club. According to Grassi, Pillay never actually put any money in the club, yet the name of his Penang company appeared clearly on the official team photo...
We thus asked Wilson to tell us more about Mr. X, and he did:
"Tan was a right hand man of Mr. X who invested in the Swiss Club you mentioned (i.e. FC Chiasso). During this time Singaporeans were only keen on fixing Malaysia Cup matches. Match fixing was already rife in South East Asia in the early 80's. Rajendran Kurusamy (another alleged Singaporean match fixer) also known as Pal came into the picture and he was dictating the entire Malaysian league till 1994 when Singapore decided to pull out from the competition".
Wilson continued: "This is when Mr. X decided to venture abroad. He started a bogus company and built relationships with people in Europe who were related to soccer. During these trips Tan acted as his book keeper. During one meeting in 1995 I suggested to Pal that we switch off the floodlights in EPL (English Premier League) matches in order to win the bets we places (The Asian betting allowed payments for matches that ended during the second half). No one took it seriously at that time. In 1997 Mr. X sold this idea to a Malaysian syndicate and the plan was executed. There were matches in the EPL namely West Ham V Crystal Palace and Wimbledon V Arsenal where the floodlights were switched off to suit the result".
Since Wilson was speaking of the floodlight scam, we asked him to explain the procedure better: "I am surprised you are not aware of the floodlight incidents", he said, "You will need the assistance of the technician in the stadium plus some other techniques to ensure that the lights are not turned back on. More like a power failure".
Wilson also mentions that Dan Tan was responsible for the floodlights being switched off during a match between Fenerbache and Barcelona.
"Tan had placed bets on Fenerbache to win the match. But the score-line read 0-4 in favor of Barcelona during the half time. If the lights were to go off before the second half kick-off then the betting would be cancelled. Tan switched the lights off but the stadium officials used a generator to re-activate the floodlights and this match backfired".
Wilson then proceeded to explain how Dan Tan had taken over for Eswaramoorthy Pillay:
"Mr. X was a high roller in Casinos", he wrote, "He became indebted to his European friends and gradually drifted away from the scene. This is when Tan took over and went in search of Mr. X's friends. This syndicate began to grow bigger and bigger as they began to venture into more countries. In this business you can't sit and wait for the apple to drop. You have to dig deeper and deeper to achieve results. If you take a look at my mobile I can call people in all of the continents".
Regarding Pillay's relationship with FC Chiasso, Wilson concluded: "Mr. X was funding and fixing by placing the players of his choice", and, "yes. Almir Gegic was a player in Chiasso".
Wilson Raj Perumal sketched the structure of the syndicate for Finnish police
DAN TAN IN ITALY
Wilson decided to go into more detail on Dan Tan's Italian feats: "Some time in 2009 Dan Tan fixed the first of many Italian matches", he wrote, "It was a Serie B Albinoleffe match. Subsequently he also became a shareholder of this team".
We attempted to check the Italian company register for the club Albinoleffe but were not able to find any tangible trace of Dan Tan's involvement in the club. Yet Wilson was unshakable: "I can assure you Tan had a share in the Italian Serie B club", he insisted.
Wilson then went on to say: "In 2010 Dan Tan's popularity grew and many Italians began to look for his services to place bets on Serie A and B matches. The Italians were not aware that they were being used by Dan Tan. The total amount of bets for a Serie B match can fetch up to 4 to 6 million Euros. (If the players agree to go for both Handicap and total). For a Serie A match the total bet can fetch up to 10 to 15 million euros for a single match if bets are placed on both handicap and total goals".
Wilson then explained: "This is where the Italians are made to look like fools. Dan Tan only offers them between 600.000 and 800.000 for a match. Dan Tan makes more money than the players who manipulate the matches. The Italians are ignorant of this fact and being used. In fact there are betting agents in Singapore who are able to provide 3 to 4 times more than what Tan Seet Eng can offer to these Italians who had manipulated the matches".
Wilson said that the syndicate would place their bets on Chinese betting sites: "The bets were placed in China where the betting is a lot more different than Europe. The Chinese have betting patterns where you make a single click on your mouse assuming 1000 dollars, they can have it multiplied by 20 which means your single bet can be multiplied 20 times. Tan has access to this group of people who can offer him this exceptional betting facility. The betting company survives by riding on your information. Basically this is how the syndicate works".
We asked Wilson how Dan Tan came in contact with these alleged Chinese accomplices: "The Chinese came in contact with Tan through middlemen. The Chinese came to know of Tan's ability to fix matches and offered him a service to place bets for him on the matches he fixed. Then gradually the volume became bigger and bigger".
We insisted with Wilson so that he name more members of the syndicate and its mysterious financiers – if there were any aside from Dan Tan – but he said that he was afraid for his family's safety in Singapore.
Wilson also suggested that the members of the syndicate are still meeting in Singapore: "I hear all the syndicate members are hiding in Singapore. They regularly play 5 aside soccer. You can snap pictures of them if you go under cover and arrange a 5 aside match through Gaye Allasan who has a soccer academy. Try your luck. Good day. Wilson Raj".
Unfortunately we had already left Singapore. Yet we checked for football academies in Singapore and for the name Gaye Allasan. We came up with a football academy called Football 4 U, located on 120 Lower Delta Road #07-08 Cendex Centre Singapore. Football 4 U is also the name of a company used by Wilson Raj Perumal to organized fixed friendly matches between national teams. The academy Football 4 U appears on the website of the FAS (Football Association of Singapore) and its director is a man called Gaye Alassane. Our colleagues in Singapore, whom we asked to check the address, say that there is nothing there.
Wilson Raj Perumal claims that Dan Tan is still in business: "He is actively fixing matches. Venezuela V Moldova and El Salvador V Moldova lately. Puerto Rico V Nicaragua. What can FIFA do?".