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Match fixer's Indian-origin accomplice jailed for 34 months

PTI 24 Jun 2015, 12:37:29 PM IST

Singapore:  A 36-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean, who was an accomplice of notorious football match-fixer Wilson Raj, has been jailed for nearly three years for passport fraud and harbouring a criminal.

Raja Morgan Chelliah admitted last month to providing false information to the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) to procure a Singapore biometric passport bearing the match-fixer Raj's photograph but issued under the name of another accomplice, Subramaniam Sellapah.

Chelliah also pleaded guilty to selling the fraudulent passport for Singapore dollars 5,000 to a middleman, of which he paid Singapore dollars 2,000 to Subramaniam, and for harbouring Raj by providing him with that passport and another one earlier in the name of Raja Morgan.

Chelliah was jailed yesterday for 34 months for two passport-related offences and for harbouring Raj, the Straits Times reported.

Chelliah, who got to know Raj in Singapore's Changi Prison, was jailed for a year in 2011 for providing the match fixer with his own name and particulars but the latter's photo on a passport.Raj is wanted in Singapore for evading a five-year corrective training sentence.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Navin Naidu argued in court that not only had Chelliah committed the same offence twice, but his help was key to Raj evading capture.

Raj used the second passport to travel to Switzerland, Hungary, Austria and South Africa, where visas are not required for Singaporeans.

This made Chelliah's harbouring of Raj even more severe than the traditional definition of harbouring a criminal, Naidu said.Raj's use of the fraudulent passports may also damage the international credibility of Singapore passports, he said.

"Due to Wilson Raj's notoriety in match-fixing circles, it was inevitable that much adverse publicity was visited upon the integrity of Singapore passports," said Naidu.

Chelliah, who appeared in court in a black and grey sweater and maroon trousers, had his mitigation plea dismissed. He claimed that he was not aware of Raj's notoriety.

The court ordered him to serve 20 months for providing false information to the ICA, 24 months for selling the fraudulent passport and 10 months for harbouring Raj.

The first sentence will be served concurrently.Chelliah had said before the sentencing that he had been expecting 45 months in jail, the report said.