DOJ chief says Jack Lam is blacklisted in PHL

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said that Chinese gaming tycoon Yon Lok Lam alias Jack Lam is already blacklisted after operating online gaming casinos in the country without license.

Aguirre said that apart from being blacklisted, Lam will also be arrested once he returns to the country for economic sabotage in relation to the recent arrest of some 1,316 Chinese nationals illegally working in his online gaming operations at the Fontana resort in Pampanga.

The DoJ Chief explained that Lam's Fontana Casino did not have permit from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) -- contrary to a recent claim by Lam's lawyer Raymond Fortun.

He said the CEZA has confirmed that it did not issue a license to Lam to conduct online gaming outside of Cagayan.

The CEZA is the only entity outside of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) that could issue a special license.

"CEZA has not authorized any of its operators to setup office or any of their operations in the Clark Freeport. It is very apparent that some foreigners are violating our laws. We will not tolerate that," Aguirre said after obtaining a copy of the December 1, 2016 letter of Jose Mari B. Ponce, Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the CEZA, addressed to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Retired General Jaime H. Morente.

The letter requested the Bureau of Immigration for a list of CEZA Working Visa (CWV) holders from among the 1,316 Chinese nationals who were arrested for working without the necessary work permits in Clark, Pampanga. The raid, personally initiated by the DOJ chief was conducted by elements of the BI and of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

"CWV holders are not allowed to work in offices not registered or authorized by the CEZA. Such violation is considered ground for the cancellation of the company's registration and the CEZA Working Visa of the concerned expatriate," he noted.

However, Aguirre said the Hong Kong-based tycoon may still be allowed to return to the country and continue his businesses here if he would settle his obligation with the government and abide by its laws this time.

"May nagpahatid sa akin surrender feeler he is going to pay taxes or liabilities and apply under a new license with PAGCOR na instead of 1 percent gagawing 10 percent. 'Pag nagkasundo sa amount then baka payagan siya (to) continue investments here, but presently naka-blacklist siya," Aguirre said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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