Games Night at Zurich Hotels & Why Dan Tan Should Be Released[email protected]
Crikey – the arrests of FIFA executives is getting so routine at the five-star Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich the management should build it into their daily schedule:
5 p.m. – High Tea
6 p.m. – Cocktails & Happy Hour
6 a.m. – FBI & Swiss Organized Crime Police arrests of FIFA executives
7.15 a.m. – Continental breakfast
Possibly the hotel has, like chocolates on the pillows, turn-down service and concierges, criminal lawyers standing around in the lobby ready to help their guests as they are carted out.
Jokes aside. The arrests this morning are excellent work by the FBI and Swiss Organized Crime police. It shows the difference between independent outsiders who are willing to investigate anyone inside that organization and the FIFA ‘ethics committee’ who is trying to scapegoat Sepp Blatter and make the whole scandal of a fundamentally corrupt institution disappear.
As for FIFA’s latest plans, that they announced today, to ‘reform’ their organization, these are the equivalent of Mexican environmental regulations: tough sounding on paper – but useful only as window-dressing for the corrupt.
All the new ‘reforms’ and legislation are useless if many of the people leading the organization are corrupt. For example, Jeffrey Webb, the former head of CONCACAF brought in ‘Code of Ethics’. Yet last week, it was announced that the man has pleaded guilty to a multi-million-dollar fraud and named many other football leaders who took part. If FIFA is not cleaned out properly then it will lose its fundamental credibility.
As I said in a blog in September: you ain’t see nothing yet. I have a number of sources very close to both the FBI and Swiss investigators, the evidence those authorities have against even more FIFA executives is compelling.
Dan Tan Should Be Released.
You heard it here first. Dan Tan should be released by the Singapore authorities and then immediately extradited to a jurisdiction that has a better law enforcement and judicial system – somewhere like Italy.
Yes, Italy is a long, mafia-laden money trench where the corrupt run free and the good men die like dogs, but against match-fixers, it still has a better system than the despotic, schizophrenic, police state that is Singapore.
The Singaporean clowns have had their chance. They have been twisting and turning for years around the fact that their match-fixers, linked to the massive illegal gambling syndicates in their country, went around the world corrupting sports.
They have screwed it up so badly that they are now running a de facto protection racket for corrupt sports officials and Asian establishment figures. To be very clear, the Singaporean authorities are not corrupt. They are not on the payroll of Tan or taking money from anyone else. Rather their informal protection racket comes from a very Singaporean fear of international embarrassment or controversy. Their national inferiority complex has caused them to screw up: here is how.
For two-and-a-half years after Wilson Raj Perumal – a middle-ranking runner and fixer in Singapore – was arrested and began spilling the beans to European police, the Singaporeans did nothing. They allowed Dan Tan to potentially destroy any evidence that may have linked him to match-fixing.
Then they arrested him under ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation rather than as a fixer.
Then embarrassed by their incompetence they leaked to a Singaporean ‘investigative journalist’ (read informal government spokesman, the kind of media person who writes breathless articles about how hard the authorities are working) that they had stopped Tan from fixing the 2014 World Cup. Yet they produced no evidence to show that this was true.
I was close to Tan’s match-fixing network. I saw them at work first-hand. Dan Tan was not the “overlord” of match-fixing. The Singaporean/Malaysian match-fixers operated more like independent brokers. Sometimes cooperating, sometimes competing with other match-fixers. However, at all times they were looking for money from rich and influential Asian establishment figures. Particularly, if they were going to try to fix a World Cup tournament, they would have needed financial backing from a rich investor.
One of the financial backers who invested in Tan’s fixes has to be arrested and put on trial. The only way to do that is to get Dan Tan, Raj Kurusamy or any of the other senior Singaporean match-fixers to testify in an independent judicial system. Somewhere the fixers can speak freely without being in fear of their lives.
The Singaporeans are afraid of this happening, partly because it will focus negative attention on their odd, little country and its national obsession with gambling. To stop this from happening, the authorities will have their tame media spokespeople trot out the usual government approved nonsense. Their journalists will say things like, “Singapore does not have an extradition treaty with Italy or the European Union.”
Look, last week, the Singaporean judicial system announced, with great triumph, they had stopped censoring an 18th century erotic book. The Singaporean judicial system is also capable of arresting opposition politicians for making what in a normal country would be a regular campaign speech. The Singaporean judicial system is capable of detaining an international match-fixer as a terrorist under an arcane law dating from the British anti-communist war of the 1950s.
Given this loosey-goosey interpretation of laws in Singapore, someone in their arcane judicial system can figure out how to extradite Dan Tan to a country with credible legal enforcement.
This issue is important because the Singaporean/Malaysian fixers also worked around the world with some very senior sporting figures to corrupt international football. Some of the people they worked with are at the same level as the people who are now being taken out of five-star Swiss hotels by the police.
So the Singaporeans have to stop messing about. They obviously cannot deal properly with Dan Tan. They should get him on a plane to a jurisdiction that can get him to testify – then everyone stand back and watch an even bigger scandal envelop the sporting world.