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24-year-old woman arrested after Hougang United Football Club reports missing S$250,000

24-year-old woman arrested after Hougang United Football Club reports missing S$250,000

File photo of Hougang Stadium. (Photo: Facebook/Hougang United FC)

SINGAPORE: A 24-year-old woman has been arrested after Hougang United Football Club reported missing a large amount of money in December last year. 

The club, which is one of nine in the Singapore Premier League, filed a police report against one of the members of its administrative staff after losing about S$250,000 from its coffers, TODAY reported on Sunday (Feb 24). 

The employee had allegedly taken the money from the clubhouse and office, and later admitted to it. 

Police confirmed on Sunday that a report had been lodged and that a woman was arrested and charged in court on Dec 16, 2018.

The Football Association of Singapore, which runs the professional league, said it was aware of the matter. 

"The Football Association of Singapore is aware of this matter and had raised various inquiries with the Club. A police report had been made and the police have also arrested a Club employee in connection with this matter.

"As the matter is currently under police investigation, we will not be able to comment further," the spokesman said in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia. 

FUNDS WERE FROM JACKPOT OPERATIONS

TODAY reported that the missing funds were from the club's jackpot operations. 

Six of the nine league clubs currently run jackpot machines at their clubhouses: Albirex Niigata, Balestier Khalsa, Geylang International, Home United, Hougang United and Warriors FC. 

Clubhouses with jackpot machines came under scrutiny when three football clubs, Hougang United, Tiong Bahru Football Club (TBFC) and Woodlands Wellington, were raided in April 2017

Later that year, it was reported that TBFC generated a whopping S$37 million in revenue from its fruit machines, but only a small fraction was spent on the football team. 

Regulations on clubs running jackpot machines were tightened in July 2017 and by mid-2018, there were only 42 such clubs, down from 61 in October the year before. 

When Channel NewsAsia contacted Hougang United Football Club, a spokesperson said it had "no further comment". 

Source: CNA/hs

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