Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada was arrested and briefly detained on returning to the Philippines, though he pledges to fight on in his battle for control of one of Manila’s largest integrated resorts.
Okada was released after posting bail, according to local media reports. The businessman and his three associates have been accused of coercion by the Philippines Justice Department over their attempt to regain control of Okada Manila.
The businessman has been fighting to regain control of Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, which operates the resort, since he was ousted from the board in 2017. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court granted a status quo ante order, saying that the board should be reinstated as it was in that year. Following that order, an Okada-backed group stormed the resort on May 31st and re-took control.
They remained in management for several months before intervention from the regulator, which ordered Okada and his team to vacate the premises and returned the prior board.
Okada not afraid of charges
Before returning to Manila, Okada’s team issued a press release vowing to fight the charges against him.
“I insisted on coming back to the Philippines despite several warnings from my lawyers that I may be detained by the authorities,” he said in a statement. “I want to show to the Filipino people and the world that I am not afraid. I came back to face this “grave coercion” charge against me and my associates. I have nothing to fear when I know I am standing on the right side of the law. I will not bow down to intimidation, and I will not back-off from this legal battle. This fight isn’t over.”
Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment is owned by Tiger Asia, which is ultimately a unit of Japan’s Universal Entertainment. The group had been planning a NASDAQ listing for Okada Manila through a merger with special purpose acquisition company, 26 Capital. That transaction has been delayed for a year due in part to the problems with Kazuo Okada.
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