Six of the 14 people arrested in Singapore in what is being called a major breakthrough in the fight against soccer corruption are linked to ongoing European investigations, Interpol said Thursday.
The global network's suspected mastermind was among the 12 men and two women taken into custody in police raids lasting 12 hours across Singapore, ending early Tuesday.
Interpol, the police body based in Lyon, France, said in a statement to The Associated Press, that all 14 of those arrested are Singaporean nationals.
The arrests are of "extraordinary" significance and took down "the world's largest match-fixing operation based in Singapore," Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said in an interview with Associated Press Television News.
"The Singaporeans have been criticized, unfairly I believe, for not being serious about fighting match-fixing," Noble said on a visit to Ukraine. "In fact, they never received the evidence of match-fixing that would have allowed them to either prosecute in their own country or extradite individuals.
"So what the Singaporeans did was they conducted their own investigation, working with Interpol, cooperating with (Interpol) member countries, from Italy, Hungary, Germany, Finland, et cetera. And they made their own investigations, targeted people for arrest who were engaged in match-fixing and made the arrests."
He later added: "What's significant is that the investigation in Singapore didn't just focus on the cases we already knew about originating out of Europe but also additional cases."
In Italy, the prosecutor leading an inquiry into international match-fixing said he would like to question the suspected ringleader.
"It's big news," Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino told the AP. "It shows that our inquiry means something on an international level.
"Now we need to explore the diplomatic channels to see what we can do," Di Martino added. "I'm not sure if our treaties permit (extradition). Plus, these arrests appear to also be linked to their (Singapore's) own investigation."
A high-level police official told the AP that those arrested include Tan Seet Eng, widely known as Dan Tan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the detention publicly. Prosecutors in Italy have accused Tan of coordinating a global crime syndicate that made millions of dollars betting on rigged Italian matches and other games across the world.
Cut pounds of stomach fat every week by using this 1 weird old tip.