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DOJ issues lookout bulletin vs Japanese casino tycoon

/ 04:00 PM March 22, 2018

Kazuo Okada

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada in connection with the criminal complaint filed by Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), the company behind the management of Okada Manila before prosecutors in the cities of Makati and Parañaque.

In a memorandum made public Thursday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to instruct all immigration officers in the country’s airports and seaports to be on the lookout for Okada.

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“Considering the gravity of the possible offenses he might have committed, there is a strong probability that he may attempt to place himself beyond the reach of the legal processes of the government by leaving the country,” the ILBO stated.

Aguirre said that considering the gravity of the charges, there is a “strong probability” that the persons may leave the country.

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“We, thus, deem the issuance of an ILBO against the subject persons prudent in order to at least monitor the itineraries of their flight, travel, and/or whereabouts,” said Aguirre.

A person subject to an ILBO can still leave the country subject to conditions and requirements, including clearance from the Justice department.

An ILBO is different from a court-issued hold departure order (HDO), since the former only directs the BI to be on the lookout for the subject and to verify the status of a case against the subject person and not to restrict an individual from leaving the country.

However, a person subject to the ILBO should seek an Allow Departure Order (ADO) from the DOJ chief to be allowed to leave.

Okada served as chief executive officer of TRLEI, local subsidiary of Japanese firm Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC) and owner and operator of casino resort-hotel Okada Manila, in April and May last year.

The TRLEI recently filed separate complaints for two counts of estafa against Okada before the Parañaque City Prosecutor’s Office and another charge for perjury before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office.

TRLEI accused Okada of illegal disbursement of company funds worth more than USD3 million supposedly for his consultancy fees and salaries during his one-month tenure as CEO.

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“Mr. Okada, taking advantage of his power and influence, as then most senior officer of TRLEI, fraudulently received TRLEI’s corporate funds (of at least USD3,158,835.62) as supposed salaries and consultancy fee, which were not authorized, much less approved, by TRLEI’s Board of Directors. As said corporate funds were wrongfully received or acquired by Mr. Okada without authority and through fraud, he held the USD3,158,835.62, by operation of law, in trust for, and thus, under legal obligation to return the same to, TRLEI,” read the complaint in first estafa case.

TRLEI alleged that Okada himself — in a span of just one month — caused the disbursement of the corporate funds through his accomplice, Takahiro Usui, who was then TRLEI president and chief operating officer and who was also named respondent in this complaint.

The complainant stressed that there was “no Board resolution, approving or authorizing the payment of (such) astronomical sums to Mr. Okada, whether as consultancy fee or salary. It is clear that (these) amounts received by Mr. Okada were unlawfully disbursed as these were not authorized or approved by TRLEI Board of Directors.”

On the second estafa case, which involves the supply of light emitting diode (LED) fixtures to Okada Manila by Okada’s personal company, Aruze Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (APMI).

TRLEI alleged that the USD7-million supply contract was given to APMI upon the behest or insistence of Okada, in conspiracy with his close associate, Kengo Takeda, who was the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of TRLEI.

The LED fixtures were later found to be defective and APMI turned out to be not authorized to engage in the manufacturing of lighting materials contrary to its claim.

In a perjury complaint, TRLEI alleged that Okada and Usui made false statements under oath in their civil complaint questioning their ouster filed before the Paranaque City Regional Trial Court. Okada and Usui claimed that TRLEI did not submit an updated General Information Sheet for 2017 before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They also claimed that TRLEI implemented a mass lay-off of its employees and forced establishments inside the resort hotel to close shop.

But TRLEI said such claims were complete falsehoods because the company in fact submitted the amended GIS for 2017 on 3 July 2017 and that there was no mass layoff of employees as in fact more workers were being hired by Okada Manila. TRLEI also added that Okada Manila had not forced any business establishment to close shop. /jpv

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TAGS: complaint, DoJ, ILBO, Okada, Tiger Resort
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