Philippine court orders arrest of Japanese casino mogul Okada

The DOJ has found cause to indict Kazuo Okada for three counts of swindling after he acquired “through mistake or fraud” $3.15 million in salary and consultancy fees. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 January 2019

Philippine court orders arrest of Japanese casino mogul Okada

  • Okada had filed a motion for reconsideration at the DOJ, dismissing the accusations against him as baseless
  • Okada last year was ousted as chairman of Tiger Resort’s parent, the Japanese gaming group Universal Entertainment Corp. , after Universal’s board accused him of misappropriating $20 million

MANILA: A Philippine court has ordered the arrest of Japanese pachinko billionaire Kazuo Okada, about a month after the country’s Department of Justice recommended the filing of charges against him over three counts of fraud.
The DOJ has found cause to indict Okada for three counts of swindling after he acquired “through mistake or fraud” $3.15 million in salary and consultancy fees during his tenure as chief executive of Manila casino operator Tiger Resort.
Okada had filed a motion for reconsideration at the DOJ, dismissing the accusations against him as baseless.
Judge Rolando How of the Paranaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 257 ordered the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to present Okada to court. The warrant of arrest was issued on Friday and made public on Sunday.
The bail was fixed at 348,000 Philippine pesos ($6,627) for all three charges.
Tiger Resort previously said the payments were facilitated by its former president and were not authorized by its board.
Reody Anthony Balisi, Okada’s legal counsel in the Philippines, did not reply to Reuters’ requests for comment on the arrest warrant.
Okada last year was ousted as chairman of Tiger Resort’s parent, the Japanese gaming group Universal Entertainment Corp. , after Universal’s board accused him of misappropriating $20 million. He denied wrongdoing.
It was unclear if Okada was in the Philippines when the court issued the arrest warrant.
He was arrested in Hong Kong in August in relation to multiple corruption-related charges and is currently on bail.


Hong Kong leader visits mosque struck by blue water-cannon dye

Updated 7 min 5 sec ago

Hong Kong leader visits mosque struck by blue water-cannon dye

  • The entrance to the Kowloon Mosque was sprayed by a water cannon truck on Sunday, causing anger among both local Muslims and protester
  • The mosque is a center of Hong Kong’s 300,000-strong Muslim community

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leader and the city’s police chief visited a mosque on Monday that was struck with blue dye from a water cannon during the latest bout of violent protests.
The entrance to the Kowloon Mosque, the international hub’s largest, was sprayed by a water cannon truck on Sunday, causing anger among both local Muslims and protesters.
Police use the dye — often mixed with an irritant — as a way to identify protesters but it has frequently left streets and buildings daubed in a garish blue.
Video footage shot Sunday showed the truck pulling up outside the building during confrontations with protesters, pausing and then spraying around half a dozen journalists and bystanders who were gathered on the street outside.
The group, who did not appear to be protesters, was struck twice, with much of the bright blue jet painting the mosque’s entrance and steps.
Police released a statement on Sunday saying the mosque was hit by mistake but did not apologize.
On Monday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam and police chief Stephen Lo paid a brief visit to the mosque, surrounded by a phalanx of security guards.
They emerged some 20 minutes later without speaking to the media.
Mosque representatives told reporters that the two had apologized for the water cannon incident and that the apology had been accepted.
The representatives also thanked worshippers and Hong Kongers who flocked to clean the mosque soon after the incident.
The original Kowloon Mosque was built in the late nineteenth century to cater for Muslim soldiers from British-ruled India.
It was rebuilt in the early 1980s and remains a center of Hong Kong’s 300,000-strong Muslim community.
Lam’s office and the police did not respond to requests for comment on the visit.
A police source told AFP the commissioner did apologize and further details would be released later in the day.
Hong Kong was convulsed by another day of violence on Sunday as the city nears five months of seething pro-democracy protests.
Tens of thousands joined an unauthorized but peaceful afternoon rally which quickly descended into chaos as small groups of hardcore protesters threw petrol bombs and rocks at a police station, mainland China businesses and multiple subway station entrances.
Police responded with water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets in clashes that lasted well into the night.