PLAYERS IN HIDING

Saturday September 21 2013

– A man police say is the ringleader of Australia’s involvement in a global match-fixing syndicate has made “veiled threats” against some of his co-accused, a court has heard.

Police allege Segaran “Gerry” Gsubramaniam, 45, is the liaison between members of Victorian Premier League soccer side the Southern Stars and the match-fixing syndicate, in a sting that has spawned more than $2 million in betting winnings.

Police allege the results of five of the club’s games between July 21st and last Friday were fixed and that Mr Gsubramaniam had instructed the team of of the score-lines wanted by match fixers in Hungary and Malaysia.

Mr Gsubramaniam, four of the team’s players and its coach have all been charged under Victoria’s new laws on match-fixing.

Mr Gsubramaniam, a Malaysian national, is fighting to be granted bail like his co-accused, but police are opposed over concerns he has access to money and criminal associates and will flee Australia. He was remanded in custody on Friday to continue his bail application on Tuesday.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday heard that charged player Reiss Noel and a team mate feared Mr Gsubramaniam and had resorted to securing their hotel door with a chair.

Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Scott Poynder told the court: “Two players are currently securing their doors because they fear Mr Gsubramaniam will arrange for people to come and visit them.

“Some of those [interviewed] have expressed his making veiled threats to them against co-operating.”

Defence counsel Michael Gleeson said the evidence for the threats were questionable.

The court heard Mr Gsubramaniam had received transactions of $230,000 since June, and that police were analysing four bank accounts he had in Australia, and possibly more overseas.

Telephone intercepts also overheard him talking about the players he wanted to play in Australia.

The four players charged – Mr Noel, 23, Joe Woolley, 23, David Obaze, 23, and Nicholas McKoy, 27 – are all UK nationals and have surrendered passports to police. The club’s Australian coach, Zia Younan, 36, could not find his passport but would surrender it once found, the court heard.

Zia Younan - Fairfax Media

Zia Younan – source: Fairfax Media

Detective Senior Constable Tracey Van Den Heuvel, who interviewed Mr Gsubramaniam last Sunday, told the court he said he was only a small player in the syndicate.

“He said he was just a small fry in all of this,” she said.

But prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, said police considered Mr Gsubramaniam “high on the totem pole” of their investigation and feared he was a flight risk who had inquired about obtaining a fake passport.

Mr Gleeson said evidence about a fake passport was also questionable, and said his client had no prior convictions, had surrendered his Malaysian passport to police and was entitled to bail like his co-accused.

Mr Gleeson said the accused man also faced a long wait in custody as the investigation would “take a substantial period of time for the police to resolve the charges”.

The court heard the investigation had now spread to other soccer clubs in Victoria, Queensland and overseas, and more arrests were possible.

Mr Gsubramaniam’s sister, Paramsary, told the court she and her siblings had raised $30,000 to pay for the surety if bail was granted, which included money she and her husband had saved for their son’s education.

The court heard accommodation had also been arranged through a family friend, but deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic ruled the location and person offering accommodation needed investigation. Ms Popovic ruled the bail application continue on Tuesday.

Mr Gsubramaniam and Mr Younan both face 10 charges, five counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome and five counts of facilitating conduct that corrupts a betting outcome.

The players all face eight charges apiece, four of each offence.

The six men are all scheduled to appear again in court on December 6th.

– Adam Cooper

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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