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Fresh probe into navy 'sex betting ring'

Australia opened a fresh probe into an alleged navy sex betting ring on Friday after an initial investigation was scrapped because of bias.

world Updated: Mar 12, 2010 10:02 IST

Australia opened a fresh probe into an alleged navy sex betting ring on Friday after an initial investigation was scrapped because of bias.

Opening submissions told of a “predatory culture” on HMAS Success, where sailors are accused of maintaining a list -- known as The Ledger -- that put dollar values on sexual conquests with female colleagues.

Douglas Campbell, senior counsel for the Australian Defence Force, said interviews with crew members had shown male sailors sought out susceptible female recruits for sex.

Women were coerced into sex using drugs and alcohol during shore leave, he said, adding that they were also threatened to stop them from speaking out.

The new inquiry, led by retired judge Roger Gyles, was set up after the initial probe did not hand down any findings and was judged biased by legal experts.

The Channel Seven television station has reported that female officers and lesbians attracted higher values and premiums were paid for sex in unusual locations such as on top of a pool table.

The report was described as “disturbing” by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd when it aired in July. It said the alleged betting ring was discovered while HMAS Success was visiting Singapore last May.