A professional gambler from Hong Kong who allegedly plotted to disrupt an English Premier League football match was caught after his syndicate offered a GBP20,000 (HK$249,000) bribe to a stadium security supervisor, a London court was told yesterday. Syndicate members told the guard they had already disrupted two other English matches by sabotaging floodlights so that the games were stopped before they had run the full 90 minutes. Prosecutor Mark Dennis said Liu Wai-yuen, 38, was at the heart of a plan to disrupt a game between Charlton Athletic and Liverpool in February last year. With two Malaysians, Ong Chee Kew, 49, and Lim Eng Hwa, 35, he had planned to interrupt the game by turning off the floodlights when the score reached a point which benefited the betting syndicate based in Southeast Asia. 'In Hong Kong and Malaysia, in particular, there exists a considerable amount of gambling which includes the paying out of bets even if the match is abandoned,' Mr Dennis said. Ong and Lim, together with the security guard, Roger Firth, have admitted conspiring to disrupt the game but Liu has denied the same charge. The court was told that the two Malaysians had first visited the Charlton ground in southeast London in December last year and approached Firth, the club's senior security supervisor, asking for information about how the stadium was managed. In later meetings with the security guard the Malaysians said they represented a large betting syndicate and offered Firth GBP20,000 if he would give them access to the ground's electrical system. Mr Dennis said Ong told Firth they had managed to gain access to two other London grounds the season before which had led to matches being abandoned after the floodlights failed. The Malaysians claimed to have been involved in disrupting a match at Wimbledon's ground when they were playing Arsenal on December 22, 1997, when the lights failed shortly after the start of the second half with the game scoreless. They had also said they were responsible when the floodlights failed in the 65th minute at West Ham's ground during a match against Crystal Palace on November 3, 1997, when the score was 2-2. Liu was arrested with Ong and Lim when he drove them to the Charlton ground on February 10 to test a remote-controlled device. Liu claimed he had only driven the two Malaysians to the ground as a favour and knew nothing about their plan. Mr Dennis said Liu was a professional gambler on football matches and had attempted to hide a Charlton fixture list by stuffing it behind a seat in the police car when he was arrested. The case continues.