Football 'match-fixer' Dan Tan with Singapore police

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Media captionInterpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble: "Match-fixers are far ahead of police"

A businessman linked to a global football match-fixing ring is helping Singapore authorities with their inquiries, police say.

Tan Seet Eng, also known as Dan Tan, is said to be the central figure in a match-fixing organisation under investigation by Interpol.

Earlier, Italy arrested a suspected associate of Dan Tan in Milan.

Investigators have been critical of Singapore for allowing alleged match fixers to live there freely.

Dan Tan's name has appeared frequently in police reports about global corruption.

He is rarely seen in public, but has previously denied allegations of match-fixing.

Confirming that he is with Singapore police, spokesman Tan Giap Ti told the BBC that Mr Tan was "currently assisting Singapore authorities in their investigations".

"The Singapore authorities have been offering assistance and sharing available information with affected countries and will continue to do so," he said.

"We would like to reiterate that Singapore is committed to eradicating match-fixing as a transnational crime and protect the integrity of the sport, and will pursue such cases vigorously with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice."

Criminal networks

Earlier, Italian media named the suspect arrested as he arrived in Milan as Admir Sulic, a Slovenian.

Mr Sulic was arrested at Malpensa airport in Milan after stepping off a flight from Singapore, police said. They had been tipped off by his lawyer that he was on the flight, they added.

Interpol, the international police organisation, believes that Mr Sulic is linked to a match-fixing group controlled by Dan Tan.

Initial reports said Dan Tan was on the plane from Singapore to Italy.

Suspicions were raised when Interpol's secretary general said a suspect heading to Milan was wanted in connection with a 2011 betting scandal that saw several Italian players and clubs banned or penalised.

News of the arrest followed details released by European police earlier this month at the conclusion of an 18-month investigation in match-fixing.

They said that a crime syndicate based in Singapore was liaising with criminal networks throughout Europe, and that match-fixing had taken place in 15 countries and 50 people have so far been arrested.

However, Interpol's Secretary General Ronald Noble defended Singapore and south-east Asian countries from the charge that they had allowed the region to become a hub for international match-fixing.

He argued that the European police were not sharing information internationally - leaving the Asians with very little evidence to act on.

In total, 30 countries and close to 700 matches worldwide were examined.

Many of the allegations involved matches in lower divisions around Europe.

Some 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals are suspected of being involved.

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