Pair deny paying jailed jockey for tips

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 August, 2007, 12:00am

Two men charged with offering rewards to jailed Australian jockey Christopher Munce for horse-racing tips went on trial yesterday in the District Court.

Fung Hok-cheung, 46, and Leung Shu-kan, 54, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to offer advantages to an agent.

Papers before the court alleged that Fung conspired with a man named 'Ah Fei' - an undercover anti-graft officer - and offered money to Munce between June 16 and July 3 last year. The charge against Leung alleges he conspired with Fung to commit similar acts from January to May 22 of the same year.

The papers allege that Fung suggested to Ah Fei that he obtain tips from Munce so the undercover officer could bankroll and place bets on the jockey's behalf.

The papers said that if the tips were successful, the winnings would be paid in cash to Fung, who would pass them on to Munce.

They said that on one occasion, Ah Fei lost HK$150,000 because the tips were unsuccessful.

On July 1 last year, Fung told Ah Fei that Munce had strongly tipped three horses in races the following day. He asked the undercover officer to bet HK$50,000 on each horse for Munce, and said Ah Fei should also reward him as the middleman.

The papers say two of the horses won and the payout amounted to HK$1,013,600. After Ah Fei's stake was deducted, the winnings due to Munce were HK$863,600.

A day later, Fung was apprehended by officers from the Independent Commission Against Corruption after receiving money from Ah Fei in a restaurant.

The hearing continues today.