DOJ takes over Okada estafa raps

Published June 5, 2018, 3:04 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken over the $10-million estafa complaint against Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada after the a Pasay City prosecutor inhibited himself from handling the case.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Pasay City Prosecutor Amerhassan Paudac granted the petition of complainant, Tiger Resorts Leisure & Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), to inhibit from the case.

“I understand that Prosecutor Paudac has inhibited himself,” Guevarra disclosed.

“So DOJ will handle any further motions or incidents in the Okada cases,” he added.

TRLEI sought Paudac’s inhibition due to alleged bias after the yet to be released resolution of the case was leaked and posted in the Instagram and Facebook accounts of Okada’s Korean girlfriend, Chloe Kim.

Because of this, Guevarra said he also instructed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the alleged premature disclosure of the resolutions which allegedly showed that the complaint against Okada has been dismissed.

“We have requested the NBI to investigate the leak,” he said.

In its motion seeking Paudac’s inhibition, TRLEI, which operates Okada Manila hotel and casino, said the resolution has not been officially released and, yet, photos of it have been posted in May 18 on Kim’s social media accounts.

The photos had the captions: “Devils will go the hell soon! 2 estafa cases against Kazuo Okada of Okada Manila dismissed. Justice prevails.”

“Kim already had a copy of, or had access to, the very same resolutions that complainant TRLEI’s counsel could not access from the Office of the City Prosecutor,” TRLEI’s motion read.

“There is factual and legal basis to believe that City Prosecutor Paudac is biased and partial in favor of respondent Okada to the grave prejudice of complainant TRLEI,” it added.

TRLEI filed before the Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office multiple counts of estafa against Okada who is accused of allegedly embezzling over $10 million from the company’s funds from 2016 to 2017.

Because of the allegations, Okada got kicked out as chief executive officer of TRLEI by the majority shareholders.