31 Mar 2011

Woman at Auckland TAB linked to NRL betting scandal

9:31 pm on 31 March 2011

Australian detectives say a mystery woman, spotted in Auckland, could have information crucial to their investigation into a National Rugby League betting scandal.

Former player John Elias and player agent Sam Ayoub have been charged with fraud over a betting plunge on a Cowboys penalty goal against the Bulldogs last year that the pair allegedly believed had been fixed.

New South Wales police have released security footage of the woman, who is her 20s, making suspicious bets on the penalty at a Browns Bay TAB on the evening of the 21 August match and the day before.

They say, however, that they have exhausted their attempts to identify her.

The commander in charge of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Ken Finch, says the bets are the only ones placed on the game overseas to have drawn the attention of detectives.

"The fact is that not all bets were considered to be suspicious," he said.

"We've made some inquiries and the bets that she placed were not insubstantial and we would like to speak to her about the circumstances of that."

Det Supt Finch says police have been working with New Zealand police to try to find the woman.

On 20 August she was dressed in a dark, hooded jacket and blue jeans and was carrying a large red handbag while pushing a young boy in a pram.