Hong Kong authorities are now investigating Kazuo Okada and his cohorts following their forceful takeover of Okada Manila in May.
Through its legal counsel Guantao & Chao Solicitors and Notaries, Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. — a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-listed holding company Universal Entertainment Corp. that owns 99.9 percent of TRLEI, the operator of Okada Manila — has filed a criminal complaint against Kazuo Okada before the Hong Kong Police Wan Chai Division for fraud and violence during their takeover of Okada Manila on 31 May 2022.
“As a result of Kazuo Okada’s criminal acts, the operations of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. and Okada Manila have been unjustly paralyzed, and consequently TRAL has suffered significant and irreparable loss,” the criminal complaint read.
Kazuo Okada and allies TonyBoy Cojuangco and Dindo Espeleta took over the physical structure of Okada Manila in May.
Defying the status quo ante order of the Philippine Supreme Court, Kazuo Okada then installed a new board of directors and manifested to Philippine court officials and Hong Kong regulators that he was the sole representative of TRAL in TRLEI.
Kazuo Okada submitted to the Philippine judiciary an antiquated registration document before his ouster from TRLEI, misrepresenting the Hong Kong Registry. It has since been updated to reflect his removal from the company, a document that is on record based on the Hong Kong
His self-appointed board operated and managed the integrated casino hotel until Philippine authorities intervened and ordered them to be removed from TRLEI on 2 September 2022.
Guided by a legal opinion of the Department of Justice, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. reinstated the TRAL-backed board led by TRLEI President Byron Yip and barred the Kazuo Group’s board to “cease and desist from discharging their functions in connection with Okada Manila’s casino operations.”
Acting on the criminal complaint, Hong Kong Judicial Officials have requested the submission of further documentary evidence to aid it in its investigation.
“We are thankful that Hong Kong authorities have acted upon the criminal complaints against Kazuo Okada and his cohorts. This is just the beginning of the slew of criminal and civil cases that we will be filing against the Kazuo Group for their blatant disregard of the law,” TRAL said.
“While we put in order the management and operations of Okada Manila, we are conducting an investigation on the illegal cash withdrawals from the casino cage, the unfair treatment and illegal dismissal of our staff, as well as the overpayments to contractors. We will submit these as
further evidence to the Hong Kong Police and use these to file criminal and civil lawsuits in Hong Kong,” TRAL added.
The now-ousted board of Kazuo Okada earlier ordered the disbursement of billions of pesos to contractors, including Transasia Construction Development Corp., a company linked to Espeleta.
“We hope that the Philippine courts will soon resolve the intra-corporate dispute in order for us to move forward with our growth plans for Okada Manila,” UEC President Jun Fujimoto said.
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