ARL Still
Baffled By Missing Money

The Australian Rugby League will refund $7000 to players robbed of money during the Kangaroo tour of Great Britain after they failed to find any evidence to prosecute anyone.

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said it was embarrassing that the investigation had taken so long but it was important to thoroughly explore every possibility.

But no evidence had been found to lay charges.

The ARL also said it was "bitterly disappointed" at speculation that an Australian player had stolen up to $7000 from team-mates.

"It is embarrassing for the players who competed on such a successful tour that, while the ARL was obliged to look at all possibilities, others have seized only on the notion that a person or persons from the touring party may have been involved," Carr said in the statement.

"At no stage has the ARL made any accusation against any individual."

Team manager Gerard Raper presented a report to the ARL on Thursday after receiving information from former Yorkshire police inspector Gary Haigh.

"There was nothing more we could have done," said Carr, who added security would be tightened on future tours.

"There just wasn't a scrap of evidence anywhere."

Carr said Raper's report made it even harder to accuse anyone because it highlighted several breaches of security, including a member of the public who was spotted running out of the team's hotel in Leeds with a video projector.

The person dropped the projector and fled.

"There were some real security issues around the team and other incidents which didn't involve hotel staff or team members who seemed to be accused," said Carr.

Although other, unnamed players lost money, it has emerged that team members who were robbed included Craig Gower, Robbie Kearns, Shane Webcke and Darren Lockyer.

An elaborate sting operation using hidden cameras was set up during the tour to catch the thief, but it was unsuccessful.

"The ARL investigation has shown a range of possibilities that could have led to the disappearances and also that there were many individuals outside the touring party who over four weeks in England would have been in the vicinity of the players' hotel.