Controversial gaming mogul Kazuo Okada has been granted an unconditional release from bail conditions previously imposed on him by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), according to a statement from Aruze Gaming.
Okada was arrested in Hong Kong in August 2018 in relation to fraud and corruption charges leveled by his former company, Universal Entertainment Corp, before being released on bail.
In an emailed statement issued on Friday, Aruze Gaming representatives said that Okada was “pleased to announce that Hong Kong’s ICAC has released him from bail unconditionally this afternoon,” adding “he no longer needs to report to the ICAC and his bail money was returned to him unconditionally.”
His Hong Kong arrest last year followed an original complaint by Universal subsidiary Tiger Resort Asia Ltd (TRA) accusing its founder of conspiracy to defraud Okada Holdings – the majority shareholder in Universal – of HK$135 million in 2015. Okada is alleged to have arranged a loan of HK$135 million from TRA to Goldluck Tech Limited to pay for artworks without requesting any collateral and without imposing any interest.
TRA also filed a damages suit against Okada with Hong Kong’s high court in late 2017 relating to the loan as well as a second case in May 2015 in which Okada is alleged to have issued a bearer check in the amount of HK$16 million from a bank account under the name of TRA before withdrawing the HK$16 million from TRA’s account three days later based on the check.
Okada was kicked off the Universal and TRA boards in June 2017.
Okada’s release from bail follows the recent backing by the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) of a decision by the City Prosecutor’s Office of Parañaque to dismiss estafa charges against him in relation to the supply of LED strips for the exterior façade of Okada Manila in 2016.
However, the DOJ has also recommended charges be filed against Okada for allegations of fraud during his tenure as Chairman of Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc, which is a subsidiary of TRA.