Five charged in Hong Kong

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The Independent Online
The first charges have been laid following Hong Kong's crackdown on horse race-fixing and illegal gambling which resulted in 37 arrests, writes Stephen Vines from Hong Kong.

Yesterday five businessmen, two of whom are Malaysian nationals, were charged with illegal bookmaking. It is likely that others will be charged, however the authorities appear to be first tackling the more straightforward issue of illegal gambling. The Hong Kong Jockey Club runs the only legal gambling operation in the colony.

Most of those arrested have been released on bail. They include trainers believed to control up to 80 horses, and club officials responsible for the broadcasting of racing.

Lawrence Wong, the Jockey Club's chief executive, has broken his silence on the scandal which was made public on Sunday. He told a radio station: "The Jockey Club has done everything it can to maintain the integrity of racing. I think public confidence in the integrity of racing will be maintained."