Shane Edwards faces a suspension of his trainer’s licence if he does not cooperate with a Racing and Wagering WA investigation into his alleged on-selling of horses to Singapore without their owner’s permission.
RWWA stewards have advised Edwards he must make himself available to be questioned by RWWA principal investigator Phil O’Reilly within the next week.
In a media release issued today, chief steward Brad Lewis said stewards will take action if Edwards refuses to participate in the investigation.
Edwards, who relocated to Malaysia to train horses in November, is believed to have debts of more than $500,000.
He is alleged to have sold horses owned by WA clients to Singapore without their knowledge.
One owner is building evidence to go to the WA fraud squad to seek charges against Edwards for illegally selling racehorse Mr Maheraja, who has raced in Singapore as Taser Gun under the name of trainer Desmond Koh.
The same owner is also seeking to have a caveat put on Edwards’ home to try to retrieve money paid to the trainer.
“Through the assistance of the Malaysian stewards, RWWA stewards have now issued correspondence to Mr Shane Edwards advising him that is required to make himself available to be questioned by the RWWA principal investigator within seven days,” Lewis said.
“Mr Edwards was further advised that in view of the seriousness of the matter, in the event that he did not respond within the required time or otherwise refuse to participate as directed, the stewards will give consideration to invoking the provisions of Local Rule 10 and directing that his licence…be suspended pending outcome of the inquiry.”
RWWA today revealed the matter involves up to 16 horses, some of which were first exported to Singapore in 2008.
Lewis defended RWWA’s handling of the matter, saying no public announcements were made until now to avoid compromising the investigation.
O’Reilly has interviewed Koh and obtained documents in relation to the export and transport of the horses in question.
Stewards intend to conduct a formal hearing about the matter soon after the completion of the investigation.