In September 2013, Dan Tan was arrested by police in Singapore as part of a major sweep against illegal soccer match-fixing. He was released two years later when a court decided that his detention was unlawful, but he didn’t stay free for long. After having tasted freedom for only about a week, he was put back in prison, charged with running one of the largest match-fixing syndicates in the world. Five years later, Tan is now a free man once again.
According to The Straits Times, the 55-year-old was released in December of last year, having been held for five years without ever standing trial for his alleged crimes. His story is one that would make for a good movie, even if it would potentially give would-be criminals too many ideas.
Tan was once described as the leader of the “most aggressive” match-fixing syndicate in the world. However, he wasn’t some kingpin locked away behind a heavily-gated mansion. Instead, he was a regular employee with a day job living in a condominium in Singapore’s Rivervale Crest community, a high school dropout with a knack for investments and gambling.
As with most criminal masterminds, he started small and his education came via the school of hard knocks. He ended up in prison in the 1990s for gambling-related crimes, including operating an illegal bookmaking business, and he honed his skills to better thwart law enforcement scrutiny.