The first of four men charged with conspiring to fix a SEA Games football match was sentenced to 30 months’ jail yesterday.
Nasiruddin, 52, an Indonesian, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiring with two others to corruptly give S$15,000 to Timor Leste Football Association’s technical director Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes.
Based on court documents, Nasiruddin became acquainted with a man called Raja in Indonesia. He met Raja and Singaporean Rajendran R Kurusamy, 55 — among the four charged — on March 16 for a talk. They met again four days later and Rajendran asked Nasiruddin whether he knew anyone in the Indonesia or Timor-Leste SEA Games football teams who could help fix matches.
Nasiruddin later contacted former Timor-Leste player Moises Natalino de Jesus, who is also among those charged. Rajendran sought Moises’ help to fix a match involving the Timor-Leste SEA Games team. He also informed Nasiruddin that he would give money to players who helped ensure a defeat to Malaysia on May 30.
Two days before the match, Raja took Moises to meet Rajendran and another person at Orchid Country Club. Moises later informed Orlando about Rajendran’s “business plan” to fix the match and told him to lose by a certain number of goals.
Rajendran wanted Timor-Leste to not concede a goal in the first 20 minutes, but eventually lose to Malaysia by a few goals. He would pay each complicit player S$4,000 and told Orlando seven players would be enough to help lose the game, but it would be better if all 11 players were involved. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau arrested the four before the match, which ended 1-0 in Malaysia’s favour.
Deputy public prosecutor Navin Naidu urged the court yesterday to impose a jail sentence of 30 to 36 months. He said Nasiruddin’s only reason for entering Singapore was to arrange to fix the match. “There was no other reason for the accused to be in Singapore aside from committing the offences. A strong deterrent message … must be sent … to forcefully show Singapore’s intolerance against people who come to our country for the sole purpose of committing crimes”.
The remaining three accused have yet to submit a plea.