The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation sent agents to the Philippines to investigate the bribery controversy involving the Japanese casino tycoon Kazuo Okada and his company Universal Entertainment Corp. The fact was confirmed by Cristino Naguiat, chairman and CEO of Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. (Pagcor). “They just asked about the process. They are interested in Okada,” Naguiat told reporters in Manila on Tuesday.
Sometime in November last year, Reuters reported that Universal had been making money transfers to Rodolfo Soriano, an aide of former Pagcor chairperson Efraim Genuino, which totaled to $40 million. Payments were supposedly made in 2010 when Universal was asking the government for concessions in relation to its casino project. Okada already denied these allegations and has said that they are filing a defamation case in Tokyo against the news outfit.
Company spokesman Nobuyuki Horiuchi was firm that the company has done nothing wrong and that they have transacted with the Philippine government through legal means. He assured that Universal will fully cooperate with the investigations in Manila. “We don’t see this as an investigation of our conduct but rather as an investigation of whether the Reuters reports have been correct,” he said. Pagcor has already previously said that it is ready to strip Universal of its licence for the casino project being developed by the company should evidence of bribery is found.
[via The Globe and Mail]
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