BUDAPEST: Notorious matchfixer Dan Tan and 44 Hungarians – current and former players and officials – have been charged over a matchfixing scandal stretching back over four years.

Dan Tan, a Singaporean whose real name is believed to be Tan Seet Eng, has been charged in his absence.

Prosecutors are believed to have been ‘assisted’ in their investigation by his former partner in crime, Wilson Raj Perumal, who has been under house arrest in Hungary.

Chief Prosecutor Imre Keresztes said in a statement Thursday that 32 domestic and international matches had been manipulated. These included league and cup matches inFinland, Hungary and Italy as well as national team and international club matches.

The indictment narrative alleged that a Hungarian suspect and his associates joined an Asian-based match-fixing organization in 2010. Dan Tan is considered to have been the mastermind.

Investigators say that more than a dozen of the suspects have confessed and that three are under house arrest.

Local agencies have reported that Hungarian authorities began a major matchfixing inquiry in December 2009 and joined an international investigative force, formed by police from Finland and Germany in August 2011. Later Austrian and Slovene law agencies  joined up.

The suspects’ aim was to place bets, mostly at Asian betting agencies, on matches whose outcome they could influence by bribing players and referees. Bets laid per match ran to several hundred thousand euros.