Monday September 16 2013
– The alleged ringleader of a global match-fixing scam has been remanded in custody after he became the first person charged under new laws to protect the integrity of sport in Victoria.
Gerry Gsubramaniam, 45, sat on the edge of his seat and fiddled with his silver earring as police alleged he was the “contact point” between Southern Stars FC and overseas match-fixing figures in an out-of-sessions hearing last night.
Gsubramaniam said “I want bail” and “I don’t want to stay inside a cell”.
Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Scott Poynder said police had been informed of “highly suspicious” betting patterns on at least five matches involving the Southern Stars, which led to Operation Starlings.
Bets placed worth thousands of dollars “could not possibly be explained by events that occurred on the pitch”, Senior Sergeant Poynder said. Goals scored against the Stars in the final minutes of matches were “wholly unnatural”.
Senior Sergeant Poynder said police had phone intercepts that showed Gsubramaniam giving and receiving advice and instructions on how the Stars should play and what scores in their games should be.
Video surveillance of a recent loss for the Stars showed “unusually poor play”, Senior Sergeant Poynder said.
Gsubramaniam was charged with five counts of engaging on conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome and five counts of facilitating conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome.
In opposing bail, Senior Sergeant Poynder said there was an “unacceptable risk” the Malaysian national would flee overseas, given he had no significant ties to Australia, travelled overseas regularly and had access to large amounts of money.
He said police had intercepted a phone call where Gsubramaniam discussed trying to change the name on his passport. “I get crazy…Big stress for me.”
Players Reiss Noll and Joe Woolley were released on bail.
Each player faced eight charges, four counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome and four counts of facilitating conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome.
Police said Reiss was “very forthcoming” in his interview.
Senior Sergeant Poynder said Woolley, one of the team’s goalkeepers was an important person in this investigation.
Asked by the bail justice if he understood what would happen if he breached his bail conditions Woolley replied “yes…jail.”
As the accused sportsmen faced the hearing, it emerged detectives were investigating whether the sting links back to a prolific alleged match-fixer who is currently in Hungary, Wilson Raj Perumal.
Perumal is known to law enforcement globally and has links with those allegedly behind one of the biggest fixing schemes in the world.
– Tom Minear & Carly Crawford