The saga over the control of the Okada Manila Casino Resort still continues. The next move in the dispute comes from the board of the casino operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc (TRLEI) led by Japanese millionaire Kazuo Okada. The executives have filed a lawsuit against the former TRLEI board members on theft charges because of a dubious contract with pest control services company Master Fogger.
Former TRLEI Board Suspected of Illegitimate Transactions
The Philippines’ Department of Justice has received a lawsuit against the former board of Okada Manila operator TRLEI wit members Hajime Tokuda, Michiake Satate, Kenji Sugiyama, Toji Takeuchi, Celso G. Del Rosario, James Gordon Lorenzana and Jorge A. Miano. They are charged with theft as they made an agreement with pest control company Master Fogger despite Okada Manila Casino Resort already having an agreement for such services with two other companies.
According to the Okada-led group, the former board members made two payments to Master Fogger totaling PHP 140.8 million ($2.5 million) in just 15 days and after not even a month had passed since the contract was signed.
Another suspicious detail disclosed in the lawsuit is that the major amount was received not by Master Fogger but by Roberto Jaime Gepilano who works for Argo Global Lending.
Okada and his group suspect that the agreement and the following payment were made for personal gain as in addition to being a former TRLEI member Michiake Satate is also the management advisor of Argo Global Lending.
These supposedly fraudulent actions were uncovered as a result of an internal audit conducted by the new TRLEI board headed by Okada. The Okada board also noted that there are two other agreements for pest control services with other providers that are considerably cheaper than the contract with Master Fogger.
The Dispute over Okada Manila Has Been Going on Since May
The fight over the Okada Manila Casino Resort started back in May when the founder of the resort, Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada, together with his representatives took control over Okada Manila, supported by the Philippines Supreme Court status quo ante order stipulating that the board of TRLEI should be reinstated to its composition from 2017. Following the allegedly hostile takeover the owner of TRLEI, which is Tiger Resort Asia Ltd (TRAL), filed a lawsuit against Okada and his group stating that their dealings are illegitimate. Since then, accusations have been going back and forth between the two groups still waiting for an official court decision.