City of London police have arrested a further two women and four men as part of an investigation into alleged race-fixing. The case has already involved top jockey Kieren Fallon earlier in the year.
The investigation started with a Jockey Club probe into what appeared to be possible breaches of the Rules of Racing. “It started out as an investigation of the Jockey Club Security Department, but we handed it over to the police when it became apparent that there could be some possible criminal activity,” says John Maxse of the Jockey Club.
The City of London police carried out dawn raids across the country on September 1, holding sixteen people for alleged conspiracy to defraud. Fallon, fellow jockeys Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, and trainer Karl Burke were among the arrested. They were all released on bail.
Further investigations followed throughout September and October, leading to another six arrests. Two of the men arrested are from North Yorkshire, one is from the Doncaster area and one from the Bristol area, while the women come from the Shrewsbury and Sheffield areas. None of them are jockeys or trainers.
Twenty-two people are now on bail, which has been extended to April 2005 to “give sufficient time for the investigation to be fully carried out,” according to Sergeant Julian Goodchild of the City of London Police.
“This has grown into a huge investigation and will require more time and resources to fully investigate. For this reason we have taken the decision to extend their bail to early next year,” says City of London Police Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilmott, who is in charge of the operation.
Police are still examining more than a thousand items seized during the raids, including 59 telephones and many computers, and expect to make further arrests.
“There has been more information gathered. We have seized more items of information which we are still going through,” says Sergeant Goodchild. “We do expect more arrests but we cannot say at this stage whether they will be jockeys, trainers or whoever.”