‘‘I knew I was set up the moment they stopped me,’’ Perumal wrote.
‘‘Seeking police assistance is a violation of code No. 1 in any criminal business. Dan Tan broke this code and stirred the hornets’ nest. And now he has to face the consequences,’’ Perumal wrote in another letter. ‘‘I hold the key to the Pandora’s box and I will not hesitate to unlock it.’’
Investigators say Perumal’s decision to cooperate also was motivated by self-interest. As long as he remains useful to authorities in Europe, he delays the day he might be sent back to Singapore, where he faces a prison term and possibly vengeful former associates.
‘‘He'd be in prison for five years and perhaps he wouldn’t come out of that prison,’’ Eaton said. ‘‘He progressively started giving information. Not at once, not in some great blurting splurge. He gave enough each time to ensure that he wasn’t extradited, that he wasn’t sent back to Singapore, to a point where he gave enough that they are now using him in other investigations.
‘‘Progressively, he’s realized, ‘The only way out for me is to become an informant and to cooperate,'’’ Eaton added. ‘‘But I still don’t believe he’s given anywhere near 100 percent of the information.’’
After serving half of his two-year jail sentence in Finland, Perumal was sent to Hungary, which had a European arrest warrant out for him, said Detective Chief Inspector Jukka Lakkala of the Finnish Bureau of Investigation.
Eaton said Perumal served as a ‘‘controlled informant’’ in Hungary, living in a safe house under police watch.
‘‘And no doubt he'll be in Italy, too,’’ Eaton added.
In declining the AP interview request, Perumal replied in an email that he did not want ‘‘to provide any more details.’’
‘‘My life is now settled,’’ he said, adding that he prefers that it ‘‘remains that way.’’
Matti Huuhtanen in Helsinki, Pablo Gorondi in Budapest and AP Sports Writer Andrew Dampf in Rome contributed to this story.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is part of a months-long, multiformat AP examination of how organized crime is corrupting soccer through match-fixing, running over four days this week.