The Philippine Justice Secretary has reportedly told one of the country’s newspapers – by text message – that her department’s officials have not yet issued any resolution regarding a bribery probe against gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada and his company.
The Japanese businessman’s Universal Entertainment Corp said in a filing to Jasdaq last Wednesday that investigations in the Philippines into the company and its chairman Mr Okada had been “concluded”.
“That is not true,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima reportedly told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
It has been claimed that Universal Entertainment executives made payments to officials of the country’s gaming regulator – the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp – in connection with the under-construction US$2-billion Manila Bay Resorts casino project (pictured in a rendering) in the Philippines capital.
Universal Entertainment said in its filing that the Prosecutor General of the Philippines, Claro Arellano, had proposed to Secretary de Lima to terminate an inquiry concerning claims that the company’s executives bribed officials of the country’s gaming regulator.
But Ms de Lima reportedly told the Philippine Daily Inquirer: ““He [Mr Arellano] has not received the resolution of the panel [of investigators handling the case].”
The newspaper’s account added that the Prosecutor General had however ordered the panel to speed the processing of the case.
“The case is still with the panel [of investigators],” Mr Arellano reportedly told the newspaper in a separate telephone interview.
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DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd