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Three more Canterbury racing figures have been charged as part of police investigations into harness racing's race-fixing scandal - all three over drugs, and one of the suspects with possession of a stun gun.
That brings to 10 the number of horsepeople, all from Canterbury and working in the harness racing industry, who have been charged today for either supplying Class B drugs or race-fixing.
All have come to police attention through Operation Inca, which started as a race-fixing investigation 18 months ago after information passed on by the Racing Integrity Unit.
Today's arrests are the result of a further six search warrants conducted in Christchurch this morning, taking the total number of search warrants to 17.
Phone surveillance has resulted in five horsepeople from Canterbury and a non-licence holder who works inside the racing industry in Manawatu being charged over being involved in or profitting from race fixing, which is listed in court documents as match fixing.
But the recreational drug use or supply cases appear to have come about from information gathered in the course of the race-fixing investigation.
Only one person, a 26-year-old male who appeared in a Christchurch court yesterday and was granted name suppression, has been charged with both race-fixing and drug supply offences.
The story has rocked the racing industry to its core and looks set to get bigger as at least one other leading horseperson is named in court documents relating to the drug charges.
Earlier today the Racing Integrity Unit banned all six trainers or drivers charged from attending race meetings, which now looks certain to happen to the two latest trainers charged.
That will mean at least eight horsepeople who could have had horses racing at Addington this Friday night will not be able to attend and the RIU will then rule on whether that can participate in racing activities before their cases are heard.
Harness racing bosses are dismayed by the rapidly-growing number of cases but have vowed their flagship national awards, for which some of those charged were in the running for honours, will still go ahead at Alexandra Park on September 29.
With that night not seeing Alexandra Park hosting a race meeting, any industry member who has been charged would still be able to attend.
Early today a race held at Nelson on June 8 was named in court as being part of the race-fixing investigation, while the New Zealand Herald understands a relatively minor race at Manawatu earlier in the year, is also under investigation.
One of the industry's glamour events, the $200,000 New Zealand Derby at Addington in April, was investigated by police but seems unlikely to be at the centre of any race-fixing allegations.