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DoJ orders filing of case vs Japanese gaming lord

/ 01:00 PM July 15, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation recommended the filing of violation of the Philippine Anti-Dummy Law against Japanese investor Kazuo Okada and the Universal Entertainment in connection with the multi-billion peso Entertainment City Project of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

Aside from Okada and Universal Entertainment Corporation, recommended for prosecution for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law and the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 are the following;

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·         Hajime Tokuda, President of Tiger Resort

·         Manabu Kawasaki, Treasurer of Tiger Resort

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·         Masato Araki, Director of Eagle I and Eagle II

·         Koki Seki, Director of Eagle II and Tiger Resort

·         Takeshi Nojima, Director of Tiger Resort

·         Tetsutaro Shibata, Director of Tiger Resort

·         Ken Taura, Director of Tiger Resort,

·         Mitsuo Hida, President and Chairman of the Board of Tiger Resort

·         Eagle 1 Landholdings

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·         Eagle II HOLDCO., Inc.

·         Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc.

·         Molly Investments Cooperative U.A., an affiliate of Universal Entertainment

·         Aruze USA, Inc., also an affiliate of Universal Entertainment Corporation

·         Future Fortune Limited, Hong Kong registered company and affiliate of Universal Entertainment Corporation

·         Lex Development Corporation

·         Ultralex Holdings Corporation

·         Platinum Gaming and Entertainment Corporation

·         Imelda Manguiat of Tiger Resort

·         Jose Ma. G. Hofilena, Treasurer and Director of Tiger Resort

·         Hector De Leon Jr., Incorporator of Eagle I and Eagle II

·         Ramon Songco, Incorporator of Eagle I and Eagle II

·         Carina Laforteza, Corporate Secretary of Tiger Resort

·         Llewellyyn Llanillo, Incorporator, chairman of the board and President of Ultralex

·         Rene Soriano, Treasurer of Eagle I and Eagle II

·         Andres Sta. Maria, Incorporator and Director of Ultralex

·         Roberto San Juan, Incorporator and Director of Ultralex

·         Jan Celine Abano, Assistant Corporate Secretary of Eagle I and II and Tiger Resort

·         Maria Inez Togle, Incorporator and Director of Tiger Resort

·         Manuel Camacho, Director of Eagle I and II

·         Paulo Bombase, President of Eagle I and II

·         Rodolfo Soriano Jr., Director of Eagle I and II

·         Roberto Suson, Treasurer of Platinum

·         Ma. Lourdes Go, Incorporator and Director of Platinum and

·         Victor Emmanuel Caindic, Incorporator and Director of Platinum

However, the DOJ-NBI body could not find enough evidence to confirm the claims of bribery of US$40 million to a then Pagcor consultant Rodolfo Soriano Jr.

The body said while they were able to gather evidence of payment by Universal which can be traced to Soriano, “there has yet to be gathered sufficient evidence regarding the purpose for such payment, mainly due to the reluctance of potential witnesses to testify.”

Universal Entertainment Corporation, a Japan-based company, wants to operate a casino in the Philippines. In 2007, it has submitted its application concept proposal to Pagcor for the Entertainment City Project.

However, it cannot be allowed to operate due to constitutional restriction and limit in the Public Land Act that only Filipino citizens or entities at least 60-percent owned by Filipinos.

Universal Entertainment then took the services of Sycip Salazar, Hernandez and Gatmaitan (SSHG) law office which incorporated three corporations under Philippine laws—Eagle I and II and Tiger Resort.

“However, facts and evidence gathered indicate that these entities along with several other juridical entities and through the acts of various individuals, were actually dummies or fronts of Universal, meant to circumvent or evade laws of nationalization of certain rights and privileges,” the DOJ-NBI panel said.

The three firms-Eagle I and II and Tiger Resort were incorporated in 2008 and shares the same address. Records showed that they were incorporated with a minimum paid up capital of P5,000 each (5,000 shares).

A lawyer from SSHG admitted that ultimately, the intended result for the creation of the three firms was to transfer the shares to their client, Universal.

Then, the shares in the three firms were then transferred to Molly, Lex, Platinum to establish an entertainment arcade in Mandaue City, Cebu.

When NBI investigators checked the office addresses of Platinum in Sta. Cruz, Manila and in Barangay (village) Alang-alang in Mandaue City such addresses do not exist. Also, the Mandaue City treasurer’s office stated that Platinum has no business activity in their area since year 2000.

On the other hand, financial statements of both Platinum, Lex, Ultralex Holdings showed that “they have no financial capacity to engage in projects as huge as the proposed hotel, casino and resort in Paranaque City.

“Furthermore, financial documents also reflect that Universal had indeed financed the capitalization and operational costs of the project under construction known as Okada resorts,” the DOJ-NBI findings stated.

The DOJ conducted an investigation upon the request of Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat to investigate reports on the questionable move to put up the Entertainment City Project.

Naguiat was acting on news reports coming out of a Las Vegas boardroom battle that mentioned that Rodolfo Soriano, a former Pagcor consultant and a known associate of former Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Efraim Genuino, was given $5 million in May 2010 by a Hong Kong affiliate of Universal Entertainment Corp., a company owned and controlled by Kazuo Okada, an investor in Pagcor’s Entertainment City project.

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TAGS: anti-dummy law, Department of Justice, Gaming, Kazuo Okada, News
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