POLICE will today release new CCTV photographs of punters placing bets as they escalate their investigation into the NRL betting scandal.
Detectives yesterday laid three new charges against Canterbury Bulldogs forward Ryan Tandy and also charged player agent Sam Ayoub and former star over an alleged attempted betting sting on the Cowboys-Bulldogs NRL game on August 21 last year.
They face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Tandy has entered not guilty pleas to the charges and all three men will vigorously fight the allegations.
“These are serious allegations which go to the heart of the game, and ultimately erode public confidence,” investigation head Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said.
This morning, police launched a public appeal to help identify four people depicted in CCTV footage who attended Sydney betting facilities in Beaconsfield, Ashfield and in the Queensland city of Townsville.
Police are not suggesting the people in the footage have engaged in unlawful activity but believe they may be able to assist detectives.
In the footage, one man is seen placing a bet at a facility on Botany Road at Beaconsfield between 11am and 11.20am on August 20.
He was described as being of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean appearance, of slim build, with short black hair, aged in his late twenties and wearing a dark suit, light shirt and black shoes.
In another length of footage, a second man is seen placing a bet at a facility on Liverpool Road in Ashfield between 5.20pm and 5.36pm on August 20.
He was described as being of white/European appearance, of medium/solid build, with grey hair, aged in his late forties to early fifties and wearing a dark long sleeved shirt, black shorts and glasses.
A third piece of footage shows two men placing a bet at a hotel on Sturt Street in Townsville between 4.16pm and 4.22pm on the same day.
The first man is described as being of white/European appearance, of muscular build, with a beard/goatee, aged in his 20s and wearing a yellow polo-style shirt, black baseball cap with a motif on the front.
The second man was described as being of white/European appearance, of slim build, with short brown hair, aged in his twenties and wearing a black t-shirt with a large motif on the front.
“We’ll be calling for public assistance to identify more people,” Superintendent Katsogiannis said.
On a day that shook the rugby league world just a week out from the 2011 premiership kick-off, the probe into the betting scandal widened, with another match – Ryan Tandy’s Bulldogs debut against the Titans on June 18 last year – also under scrutiny.
Bulldogs star Tandy appeared in court yesterday to fight allegations of lying to the State Crime Commission about his involvement in betting on two NRL matches last year.
Three new charges were served on the 29-year-old star at Downing Centre Local Court yesterday, with one of the fresh allegations relating to the earlier game between the Gold Coast Titans and the Bulldogs in June 2010.
The two other charges relate to giving false evidence.
Tandy’s solicitor Danny Eid entered pleas of not guilty to all four of the charges on his client’s behalf. Tandy was granted police bail just hours after his arrest.
Elias’s brother George, a lawyer, told The Daily Telegraph: “John’s got no involvement in these allegations.
“He’d actually like to thank the two detectives and police at Bankstown for the courtesy they showed his mother and family in the investigation.”
NRL boss David Gallop warned that anyone found to be involved in match-fixing would be out of the game for life.
“This [the arrests] is a seriously alarming development,” Gallop said of yesterday’s arrests.
“Anyone who’s suspected of being involved in fixing a game or an element of a game is going to find themselves charged by the police and their place in the game I would say will disappear.
“Life bans have got to be on the cards for that kind of thing. Anyone involved in [match-fixing] needs to know that the penalties are going to be severe if they’re proven to be true.”