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Philippine Immigration Officers on the Lookout for Japanese Casino Tycoon Kazuo Okada

The Philippine Department of Justice has announced today that it has issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order against Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada. The order was prompted by two criminal complaints filed by Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, the operator of the Okada Manila casino resort, against Mr. Okada.

In a statement from earlier today, Philippine Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said that Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has been instructed to order all immigration officers at both seaports and airports to be watchful for Mr. Okada, who given the seriousness of the complaints against himself, could try to leave the country.

Generally speaking, a person who has been issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order can still leave the Philippines under certain conditions and after being given clearance from the nation’s Justice Department.

Mr. Okada served as CEO of Tiger Resort, a subsidiary of Japanese gaming group Universal Entertaiment Corp., in April and May 2017. Tiger Resort manages Okada Manila, the $2-plus-billion integrated resort that launched in the heart of the Philippine capital in late 2016.

Back in January, Tiger Resort lodged two separate fraud and perjury cases against Mr. Okada, claiming that the Japanese tycoon had defrauded the company out of more than $10 million. According to Tiger Resort’s complaints, the businessman had worked together with Takahiro Usui, who had previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer at the Philippine casino operator.

One of the complaints was filed with the prosecutor’s office in the city of ParaƱaque, while the other was lodged in Makati.

Allegations against Mr. Okada

The first complaint argued that the Japanese businessman had paid himself over $3 million in salaries and related fees, despite being at the Tiger Resort helm for just over a month. According to the casino operator, Mr. Okada with the help of Mr. Usui had released corporate funds without the move being approved by the company’s board.

The other complaint against the Japanese tycoon claimed that he had awarded a $7-million LED fixtures supply contract to Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc., a company he had himself been linked to. It had been uncovered that Aruze had been unfit to manufacture lighting materials. In addition, the LED fixtures it had supplied were later on found to have been defective.

Mr. Okada was ousted from Tiger Resort in June 2017. By that time, the businessman had also been investigated by Universal Entertainment, the company he found back in the 1960s. The gaming group opened a probe into its founder after allegations that he had released and transferred funds from the company without the approval of its board and to his own benefit.

The investigation was completed last September and Mr. Okada was found to have defrauded the company on three separate occasions. Universal revealed late last year that it had deployed tools and measures to prevent any such occurrences in future.

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