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Both investigators spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss their work publicly. Perumal declined an AP request for an interview.

In court filings, Italian prosecutors described Perumal as their “primary source of evidence” on Tan Seet Eng, also known as Dan Tan, a Singaporean they allege is the leader of the syndicate that fixed matches in Italy. Perumal detailed to authorities how the syndicate is structured, how it places bets, and how it moves bribe-money around the world, they said.

Italian prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Tan and listed him as the No. 1 suspect in their match-fixing investigation. Prosecutor Roberto Di Martino told the AP there are about 150 people under investigation, including Tan, but none of them has been indicted.

AP could not contact Tan in Singapore. Five phone numbers identified as his by Italian prosecutors were disconnected, and no one answered the door at an apartment the Italians listed as his address.

Perumal told Finnish police that the syndicate has six shareholders _ including himself _ from Singapore, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Hungary, and he said they divide up income from gambling on fixed matches. The syndicate places bets mainly in China, Perumal said, according to a transcript of his May 18, 2011, police interview obtained by the AP.

He said the group fixed “tens of matches around the world” _ in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas _ from 2008 to 2010. He estimated the group’s total profits after expenses at “several millions of euros, maybe 5-6 million.”

“Perumal is key, because he provides a view into how it all fit together,” Di Martino told the AP.

Investigators said Perumal has a long history as a match-fixer and a broad array of contacts in soccer. He boasted in a letter from prison: “I can pick up the phone and call from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.”

When arrested, he had numbers stored in his phone for people in 34 countries. He carried a business card with a FIFA logo that described him as “executive manager.”

Perumal wrote from prison that he started fixing matches in Asia in the early 1990s.

“I grew up in a region where football betting and match-fixing was a way of life. Gradually I developed the ability and the expertise to execute the job myself,” he said.

He claimed to have paid off players in Syria and Africa and spoke of fixes in the U.S. and in Bahrain, as well as games involving teams from North Korea, Kuwait, Zambia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Togo. Zimbabwe linked him to widespread corruption and fixes involving its players and soccer association.

Perumal also is suspected of rigging games involving South Africa before it hosted the 2010 World Cup. FIFA determined that Perumal’s company, Football4U, was a front for his betting syndicate and infiltrated the South African Football Association.

In Finland, Perumal told police how he distributed bundles of cash _ tens of thousands of dollars at a time _ to corrupt Finnish league players, including a 56,000-euro bribe handed over in a stadium lavatory in 2010.

In a prison letter, he lamented that “all corrupt players and officials are like whores who will walk with the highest bidder. There is no loyalty in this business.”

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