43 yr-old naturalised Singaporean deprived of citizenship for committing criminal acts prejudicial to interests of Singapore

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has announced that a 43-year-old naturalised Singapore citizen was served with a Notice of Proposed Deprivation of Citizenship under Article 133(1) of the Constitution (“Notice of Proposed Deprivation”) on 7 December 2017.

MHA said that this individual obtained Singapore citizenship (SC) by registration in 2003 through the Family Ties Scheme, however, it noted that there was no information to suggest that he was involved in any criminal activities at the point of his application for citizenship.

However, according to the Ministry, during his time as a Singapore citizen, this individual became an active and trusted member of an international match-fixing syndicate which was created in and took root in Singapore.

“The individual and his syndicate members used Singapore as a hub to conduct major global match-fixing activities,” it added.

According to the Straits Times, the man is former S-League player Gaye Alassane, who was born in Mali and played for Gombak United.

MHA said that while he was a Singapore citizen, the individual conspired with his syndicate members to fix football matches in various countries through corruption of officials and players.

It noted that as part of this conspiracy, the individual also travelled to these countries from Singapore to fix the matches, adding that the individual entertained and cultivated relationships with foreign nationals in Singapore to draw them into his syndicate’s match-fixing activities.

“He helped move bribe monies for his syndicate into Singapore, and remitted – and even personally couriered – these bribes out from Singapore to facilitate his syndicate’s match-fixing activities,” it added.

MHA stressed that the individual’s serious criminal conduct not only undermined the integrity of Singapore’s financial system, but also law and order.

According to MHA, witnesses were afraid of testifying against the individual and his syndicate members in open court for fear of reprisal.

This individual was dealt with under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act and is currently subjected to a Police Supervision Order for having engaged in criminal activities that prejudiced the public safety, peace and good order (PSPGO) of Singapore.

The Constitution provides for the Government to deprive any Singapore citizen by registration or naturalisation of their SC. MHA noted that it has previously deprived other Singapore citizens by registration or naturalisation of their SC for committing criminal acts prejudicial to the interests of Singapore’s PSPGO.

“SC comes with privileges and benefits, as well as duties and obligations. Individuals who have been granted SC should cherish it and not act contrary to national interests. Those who undertake activities that prejudice our security or PSPGO deserve to have their citizenship status deprived,” MHA exclaimed.

Gaye is said to be deprived of his citizenship, given the seriousness of this individual’s actions and the detrimental impact that these actions had on PSPGO in Singapore,  after due consideration of the nature and operations of his international football match-fixing syndicate, the extent of his involvement in the syndicate, the severity of his criminal activities, and the public interest.

However, MHA stressed that the individual may apply for his case to be referred to a Citizenship Committee of Inquiry (CCOI) within 21 days of the date of receipt of the Notice of Proposed Deprivation.  The CCOI will then hold an inquiry and submit a report to the Minister for Home Affairs who will then refer to the report before deciding whether to proceed to deprive him of his citizenship.

It added that if this individual is deprived of his citizenship, he will be rendered stateless.

“He will have to stay in Singapore on a Special Pass granted by ICA. He will not be able to enjoy privileges accorded to Singapore citizens, in particular, he will not be allowed to apply for a Singapore passport.,” states MHA.