Allegations that Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada (pictured) was involved in a US$10-million swindle against Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, a firm he founded to promote the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippines, have not yet been fully laid to rest, the country’s Justice Secretary, Menardo Guevarra, was quoted on Wednesday as saying.
In the Philippines, such cases are referred to as potentially involving the crime of “estafa”.
Mr Guevarra’s comments came following reports that the allegations against Mr Okada had been dismissed by the Parañaque City prosecutor’s office.
The Secretary said he would assign the cases to another prosecutor for review.
“If upon review the DOJ [Department of Justice] sees it differently, the resolutions may be set aside, reversed or modified accordingly,” Mr Guevarra was cited by multiple news outlets as saying.
Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc had made to the prosecutor in Parañaque City a criminal complaint of two counts of fraud allegedly perpetrated by Mr Okada.
In one estafa case, Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment – which is controlled by Japan-listed Universal Entertainment Corp, a firm also founded by Mr Okada but that is currently in dispute with him – accused Mr Okada of illegal disbursement of company funds amounting to US$3 million, without the approval of the board, reportedly for his consultancy work and for salaries.
The other estafa case involved a US$7-million contract to supply light-emitting diode (LED) fittings for Okada Manila, via what was described as Mr Okada’s own company, Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc, allegedly in collusion with an associate of Mr Okada that had been working for Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment.
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DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific)