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Saturday, 7 June 2014

Wilson Raj ‘still held in Finland’

THE Singapore Police Force (SPF) refuted news reports that convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal had been released from police custody in Finland.

This is reportedly after the police had failed to respond to an extradition offer by their Finnish counterparts.

Singapore, however, does not have an extradition treaty with Finland, the SPF said.

According to news reports in Finland this week, the 48-year-old Singaporean was freed even though a district court of Vantaa – a city north of the Finnish capital Helsinki – had sentenced him to three months’ probation for a border offence and forgery on May 28.

Those news reports also claimed that the current whereabouts of Wilson Raj were unknown.

“The police confirm that we are in contact with our Finnish counterparts,” said a police spokesman, responding to queries yesterday.

“According to the Finnish police, Wilson Raj remains in their custody. We are working with our Finnish counterparts to explore options to bring Wilson Raj back to Singa­pore.”

But Finnish ministerial counsellor Juhani Korhonen, who oversees extraditions under his country’s Ministry of Justice, said that Finland had given Singapore 30 days from the date of Wilson Raj’s arrest in Helsinki on April 16 to submit a request for extradition.

“What I can confirm is he won’t be extradited since the Singapore authorities did not request for it within the deadline, and that he was released from police custody,” he said.

He added that the Finnish authorities had apprehended Wilson Raj because of the convicted match-fixer’s presence on Interpol’s wanted list.

“They (Singapore) did not send anything except a diplomatic note where they asked that (Wilson Raj) be expelled from Finland on the basis that the Singapore authorities had cancelled his travel documents,” said Korhonen.

The SPF spokesman, however, said the police have considered making an extradition request to Finland “very carefully”.

“However, we were unable to make the extradition request because we do not have an extradition treaty with Finland,” added the SPF spokesman.

“Nonetheless, we are continuing to monitor the case closely and are actively exploring alternative ways to secure his return to Singapore.”

Wilson Raj has been a wanted man since 2009. — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network

Tags / Keywords: Regional , ST


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