Casino events

Japanese casino tycoon faces jail

Akihabara News (Tokyo) – This month has gone from bad to worse for Japanese casino magnate Kazuo Okada, who now faces a full trial and possible prison sentence in the Philippines.

The most recent charges against the 80-year-old billionaire relate to the dramatic events of May 31, when around 50 security and police officers led by Antonio “Tony Boy” Cojuangco, acting on behalf of Okada, arrived at Okada Manila Casino. resort and physically removed the management team loyal to Tokyo-based Universal Entertainment.

This, in turn, is linked to a long and complex legal battle for control of the pachinko and casino empire between the scandal-ridden Okada, on the one hand, and executives acting on behalf of his ex-wife. and her children, on the other hand. another, which has been in operation since early 2017.

The raid on Okada Manila on May 31 put Kazuo Okada in direct control of the lucrative station until early last month, when forces loyal to Universal Entertainment’s current management regained physical control of the establishment with the help from the police.

This set the stage for the horrible October that the casino mogul is currently experiencing.

It all started earlier this month with the news that the Philippine Department of Justice had issued an indictment against Kazuo Okada and three of his top men – Antonio “Tony Boy” Cojuangco, Dindo Espeleta and Florentino “Binky” Herrera III. – on charges of serious coercion related to the May 31 raid.

Not only did Okada’s men take control of the resort, they even manhandled and dragged senior executive Hajime Tokuda by force.

Although he understood he was in legal danger, Kazuo Okada returned to the Philippines on October 17 with the intention of asserting his legal rights. Instead, he was arrested shortly after landing at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. After spending a few hours behind bars, the billionaire paid his bail and was released.

His most recent legal maneuver also failed – his lawyers’ attempt to have the charges of severe coercion thrown out was rejected by the court.

All in all, Kazuo Okada’s stunning comeback that seemed to be underway in April and May actually put him in jeopardy. After winning a Supreme Court verdict that restored his position as the nominal leader of the company’s Philippine subsidiary, he then overplayed his hand with the forceful takeover of the Okada Manila resort.

The next step appears to be a full trial in which the Japanese billionaire will not only fight for his empire, but even his freedom itself.

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