DOJ: Okada not yet off the hook despite junking of estafa raps

MANILA Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada is not yet off the hook despite the resolution of the ParaAaque City Prosecutors Office dismissing the USD10-million embezzlement cases against him and several others due to lack of probable cause.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), the operator of Okada Manila and the complainant in the cases, can still file a motion for reconsideration or petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Guevarra said the resolutions may be reversed if the DOJ finds basis to overturn them.

"If upon review the DOJ sees it differently, the resolutions may be set aside, reversed or modified accordingly, the DOJ chief said.

The controversy arising from the leakage of Paudac's resolution of May 11 which forced the investigating fiscal to inhibit himself, prompted the DOJ to take over the estafa cases. The leakage is now being looked into by the National Bureau of Investigation.

Guevarra said he will designate a new state prosecutor to handle the cases as soon as he gets the complete records from the Office of the City Prosecutor.

Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. has also recused from the cases following petition from Tiger Resort.

In March, Catalan approved a resolution junking perjury charges against Okada and the company's former president Takahiro Usui.

Okada, who is subject of lookout bulletin order issued by the DOJ, served as chief executive officer of TRLEI, local subsidiary of Japanese firm Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC), was booted out of the company in June last year and subsequently sued for estafa.

In the first estafa case, TRLEI accused Okada of illegal disbursement of company funds amounting to USD3 million supposedly for his consultancy fees and salaries during his one-month tenure as CEO.

TRLEI alleged that Okada himself, within 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 second estafa case, on the other hand, 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 of Okada, in conspiracy with his close associate, Kengo Takeda, who was the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of TRLEI.

Okada had faced criminal charges for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law before the DOJ, which was filed by the NBI during the previous administration.

However, the case was not resolved and has reportedly been 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, Japan. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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