Rudd says navy sex betting ring 'disturbing'

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Canberra (Australia), July 6 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has expressed his dismay over reports of a sex betting ring on board a ship of the Australian Navy.

"Can I say I'm sure the Chief of Navy has all those matters under active investigation and that appropriate action will be taken? These alleged behaviours are disturbing, but it's important also to get to the facts of it all and we'll await the investigations by the chief of navy to establish all those facts," Rudd told reporters here.

Rudd's comment came after it was revealed that a group of sailors from HMAS Success had been sent home for allegedly organizing a challenge to have sex with as many female crewmates as possible.

The Seven Network reported that the sailors detailed their contest in a document called The Ledger, where dollar values were placed on each woman during an overseas deployment in May.

Larger amounts were offered if the sailors could sleep with a female officer or a lesbian and sailors challenged each other to have sex in various locations, including on top of a pool table, the report said.

The arrangement was discovered while HMAS Success was visiting Singapore.

The captain ordered the sailors to return to Australia immediately after they were formally interviewed.

On Sunday' Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard called for a full investigation of the incident by the Australian Defence Force.

Gillard said nothing should preclude women from enjoying a full and rewarding career in the Australian Defence Force.

"Obviously this is a matter for our defence forces to deal with and to fully investigate," Gillard told Network Ten on Sunday.

She said both the government and the nation had been saying for a long time that women should be able to join the army, the navy or air force.

"We don't want to see anything that precludes women from having a good career in our armed forces if that is what they choose to do with their lives. Clearly these allegations need to be fully investigated," she said.

The Defence Department confirmed a formal inquiry was underway, but said: "The veracity of any allegations has yet to be confirmed." (ANI)

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