The stables of Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren Weir were raided by the police on Wednesday morning. They were investigating the alleged use of tasers. The police arrested three people and seizer gun and taser as well.
Tasers are known as “jiggers” in the racing world. The 48-year-old Weir was one of the most successful trainers in Australia and was reportedly one of the men arrested by the police. He was interviewed by the police after his properties in Ballarat, and Miners Rest were raises. They have taken three men into custody- a 48-year-old man from Miners Rest, a 38-year-old man from Yangrey and a 26-year-old man from Warrnambool. They were released without charges later in the day.
During a press conference, Neil Paterson, the Victoria police assistant commissioner said that the officers had seized four conducted energy devices known as jiggers and an unregistered firearm from the two properties. The raids were inspired by alleged accounts of animal cruelty and corruption.
According to Paterson, the offenses are related to offenses of using deception to get a financial advantage, engaging in corruption to manipulate betting outcomes, attempts to commit an indictable offense and charges related to animal cruelty. He denied detailing the specifics of the case because of the complexity of the ongoing investigation. However, he noted that jiggers could be used for the aim of improving the performance of a horse on race day.
He also denied to state if further arrests will be made in this case and urged the public to contact the police if they had any information about the case. There is also an alleged video which shows the use of jiggers. The investigation has been underway since August last year.
Racing Victoria’s chief executive Giles Thompson said that the racing stewards would decide if the three men and the horses linked to them will be allowed in the sport while the investigation continues. He denied speculating on the results of past races, especially if the allegations are proven by the police. He noted that as no charges have been pressed against the three, they are entitled to be presumed as innocent. Racing Victoria will take action only if the breach of rules of racing are established and substantiated with evidence.
Interestingly, Racing Victoria was an investigation “the activities of licensed persons” with Victoria Police earlier. The sporting integrity intelligence unit was called in to investigate the matter, according to Jamier Stier, the executive general manager of integrity. The real identity of the people arrested has not been revealed yet, but Racing Victoria suggests that it is committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity in the sport and will continue working with the police to investigate these matters.