DOJ issues lookout order vs Japanese casino tycoon Okada

MANILA (PNA) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued last March 22 an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada in connection with a criminal complaint filed against him by Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), the company managing Okada (Casino) Manila.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II directed Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to instruct immigration officers at the country’s airports and seaports to be on the lookout for Okada to prevent him from leaving the country without clearance from DOJ.

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

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

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) as the former only directs 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, the local subsidiary of Japanese firm Universal Entertainment Corp. (UEC) and owner and operator of casino resort-hotel Okada Manila in April and May last year.

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TRLEI 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 amounting to more than $3 million supposedly for his consultancy fees and salaries during his one-month tenure as CEO.

“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 $3,158,835.62) 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 $3,158,835.62, by operation of law, in trust for, and thus, under legal obligation to return the same to, TRLEI,” reads the complaint in the 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 the 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.”

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

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TRLEI alleged that the $7-million supply contract was given to APMI at 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 manufacture of lighting materials contrary to its claim.

Okada also faced criminal charges filed for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law with the DOJ by the National Bureau of Investigation during the previous administration. But the case was not resolved and reportedly remanded to the NBI for reinvestigation.

Aside from the cases filed in the Philippines, Okada is also facing a string of cases in South Korea, Hong Kong and Tokyo.