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Philippines – Universal stresses Okada arrest warrant won’t affect Okada Manila

By - 8 January 2019

Japan’s Universal Entertainment, owner of Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment and the Philippine casino resort it operates; Okada Manila, has stressed that an arrest warrant issued for its founder and former boos Kazuo Okada won’t threaten its licence for the casino.

Former Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) President Takahiro Usui was also named on the warrant. The two men were indicted by the Philippines public prosecution authorities for the ‘illegal acquisition of officer remuneration and consulting fees.’ The Paranaque City Regional Trial Court in the Philippines issued a warrant for Okada and Usui’s arrest on January 4.

Universal said: “In acquiring and maintaining licenses for the company’s casino-related businesses, members of the company’s management need to undergo a strict screening of suitability by the gaming commissions who constitute the regulatory authorities. However, Okada and Usui were dismissed from their post of Director of TRLEI on June 16, 2017. Moreover, Okada resigned from the post of Member of the Board of Directors of the company on June 29 of the same year. As such, the facts surrounding this indictment of Okada and Usui and the issuance of a warrant for their arrest will have no impact whatsoever on the going concern of Okada Manila, the integrated casino in the Philippines’ Manila Bay area operated by TRLEI. The facts surrounding this indictment of Okada and Usui and the issuance of a warrant for their arrest will have no impact whatsoever on the going concern of Okada Manila, the integrated casino in the Philippines’ Manila Bay area operated by TRLEI.”

Universal also insisted that the warrants would not impact the acquisition of shares in Asiabest Group International as the company looks to float on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Mr. Okada is accused of taking US$3.1m in salaries and fees from Tiger during his time as Chairman and CEO.
He has slammed the accusations saying they are ‘only intended to destroy my reputation in the business community and discredit all the hard work I have put into the establishment, rise and success of Okada Manila, which is now operated by my accusers.’

Mr. Okada added: “How can I defraud the company that I own? TRLEI is 100 per cent controlled by Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC), 67.9 per cent shares of which is controlled by Okada Holdings Limited (OHL). OHL is a corporation which I essentially own as I technically have control over all of OHL’s shares. OHL holds 100 per cent of the shares of Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRAL), which in turn, owns 99.99 per cent of TRLEI.

“As owner of Okada Manila, it is absolutely absurd for me to ‘unlawfully take’ these salaries and fees. I was responsible for the investment of more than US$2bn in Okada Manila. How would I commit estafa against TRLEI and Okada Manila for a measly amount of salaries when I was the one who established and caused the rise and success of Okada Manila? These disbursements underwent the proper procedure and were processed by the concerned offices within the company.”

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