Singapore men stay in police custody

The National Crime Agency has been investigating match-fixing.
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Two men from Singapore charged with conspiring to fix non-league soccer matches in England will remain in police custody until they appear at a criminal court on Dec. 13.

Chann Sankaran and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan attended a five-minute hearing at a magistrates' court in Cannock, central England, on Friday but were not required to enter a plea. Their case will be heard at Birmingham Crown Court in two weeks' time.

Sankaran and Ganeshan, who holds dual British and Singapore nationality, were charged on Thursday with conspiring with others to defraud bookmakers "by influencing the course of soccer matches and placing bets thereon" from Nov. 1-26. The maximum prison sentence for the offense is 10 years.

They are among seven people arrested as part of an investigation into a suspected Singapore-based international betting syndicate. The other five people were released on bail on Thursday pending further inquiries.

The arrests followed an undercover operation by Britain's Daily Telegraph, which reports that three of the accused are soccer players and another is a former Premier League player who is an agent.

Games played in the fifth tier or lower of English soccer are the focus of the investigation. Both the Premier League and the Football League, which runs the three professional divisions below the top flight, say they have not been contacted by police in relation to the case.

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