Ex-Malaysian footballer on the run pleads guilty to match fixing and absconding

Ex-Kedah striker Thana Segar S Sinnaniah was charged with attempting to fix the result of a Malaysian Super League tie between LionsXII and Sarawak in 2012. — Today file photo
Ex-Kedah striker Thana Segar S Sinnaniah was charged with attempting to fix the result of a Malaysian Super League tie between LionsXII and Sarawak in 2012. — Today file photo

SINGAPORE, Jan 19 — A former Malaysian footballer who fled Singapore in 2012 while on bail after being charged with attempting to rig a football game pleaded guilty today.

Ex-Kedah striker Thana Segar S Sinnaniah, 40, who was re-arrested on August 7 last year, admitted to four charges, including three for abetting in a plot to fix the result of a match played at the Jalan Besar Stadium on May 22, 2012.

A district court heard that Thana Segar had on May 19, 2012 aided a meet-up between a Football Association of Malaysia part-time referee Shokri Nor and Singaporean Selvarajan Letchuman at a hotel room in Penang, Malaysia. Shokri was offered a RM15,000 bribe to fix the result of the Malaysian Super League tie between LionsXII and Sarawak.

On the day of the match, Selvarajan, 25, placed six bets in LionsXII’s favour with Singapore Pools. Thana Segar was thus charged for dishonestly concealing the hatched plan to induce Singapore Pools to deliver an expected payout of S$15,500 (RM41,524), part of which was intended to be paid to Thana Segar and Shokri.

However, no offence was committed as all three were arrested before the match kicked off.

Shokri was removed from his refereeing duties at the last minute. The game ended in a 3-0 win for LionsXII.

While on bail for S$50,000 and having his passport impounded, Thana Segar left Singapore illegally in July 12 by hiding in a boot of the car headed to Johor Baru from Singapore. He thus committed an offence of failing to present his passport to an immigration officer for examination.

Defence counsel Rakesh Vasu requested a four-week adjournment to prepare for mitigation, adding that the High Court’s recent elaborate judgment of match fixer Eric Ding Si Yang will be of guidance in the present case. Thana Segar will appear before the court again on February 17.

His accomplice Selvarajan’s case will be heard on February 26, while Shokri is still on the run. — Today

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