Dec 312014

Design of the proposed Manila Bay Resorts by Universal Entertainment chaired by Kazuo Okada, among Japan’s richest men. Universal Entertainment/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Billionaire Japanese gaming magnate Kazuo Okada who controls Universal Entertainment Corp. was cleared from a bribery case by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, the firm said.

The gaming corporation, affiliate of Philippine company Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc., said that no sufficient evidence was found against Okada in bribery charges linked to the construction of $2-billion Manila Bay Resorts casino project.

Arellano reportedly asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to terminate the investigation into the “groundless suspicion” that Universal offered bribes to officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor).

“It was decided on Dec. 16, 2014 not to institute prosecution against Mr. Kazuo Okada, chairman of the board of the company against whom a criminal complaint and charge had been filed b ysomeone with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office for bribery to public officials,” Universal said in a filing to Jasdaq on Monday.

Okada was under investigation by the Department of Justice, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Nevada’s gaming agency for bribery.

Complaints alleged that Okada offered about P5 million worth of payments and gifts to Pagcor officials.

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