BI officials in Jack Lam extortion probed
The Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into reports that certain unscrupulous senior immigration officials had demanded money from Macau-based gambling tycoon Jack Lam.
In a statement, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers allegedly received “massive payoffs” for the release of some of the 1,316 Chinese nationals who were arrested for illegally working at Lam’s online casino at Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga.
“We will leave no stone unturned and there will be no sacred cows,” Aguirre said. “We will hold those found responsible accountable. Corruption of any kind has no place in the DOJ family.”
“President Duterte’s marching order to us is very clear: absolutely no corruption. This mandate will be relentlessly pursued,” he added.
Aguirre had earlier disclosed that Lam, through his representative, retired Senior Supt. Wally Sombero, had tried to offer him as much as P100 million a month if he agreed to be the ninong of his gambling business in the country.
He said Lam also tried to bribe Philippine Gaming Corp. chair Andrea Domingo with one percent of his casino’s earnings in exchange for protection.
Aguirre’s revelations prompted Mr. Duterte to order Lam’s immediate arrest for economic sabotage and bribery.
In his column in the Inquirer last Saturday, veteran journalist Ramon Tulfo said Sombero had told him that two BI associate commissioners had demanded P50 million for the release of 600 of the arrested Chinese nationals.
The two were supposedly President Duterte’s “brods” at Lex Talionis fraternity who were appointed to the immigration bureau in August.
Sombero, who is now under the custody of the NBI, claimed the pair asked for another P100 million after receiving P50 million from Lam despite their failure to release the Chinese tourists.
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