The Tiger Resort Asia Ltd (TRAL) backed board of Okada Manila operator Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) has accused Kazuo Okada’s representatives of dispersing money directly from the casino cage at Okada Manila in response to its bank accounts being recently frozen.
The claim was made during a press conference on Wednesday in which the TRAL-backed board also declared that Tomohiro Okada, the estranged son of Kazuo and controlling shareholder of ultimate Okada Manila parent firm Okada Holdings Ltd, had ordered his father to vacate the premises.
These latest developments come after a group representing Kazuo Okada took physical control of the Manila integrated resort in May, citing a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) issued by the Supreme Court of the Philippines ordering restoration of the composition of the board of directors of TRLEI to its 2017 line-up, before the dispute that saw Kazuo Okada expelled from the company.
The ongoing corporate dispute ultimately saw the bank accounts of Okada Manila frozen in June.
At Wednesday’s press conference – held at Manila’s Kamuning Bakery Café and broadcast to invited media – Atty. Estrella Elamparo, Senior Partner of Divina Law and representative of the TRAL-backed board, alleged the Kazuo Okada-led board was now accessing funds directly from the casino cage and urged the Supreme Court to quickly overturn the SQAO.
“Every day that interlopers are in control of Okada Manila, we don’t know what’s happening,” she said. “We are seriously alarmed at how the funds are being managed.
“Right now all the bank accounts of Okada Manila have been frozen because of the dispute. We know they are getting money from the cage of the casino and this is a highly irregular situation. Because of our fear that the funds are being dissipated we are really hoping that the Supreme Court will decide [imminently] the case pending before it.
“All the pleadings, all the submissions have been made so any day now the Supreme Court can decide. We are really hoping and praying that it will be soon.”
In a press release accompanying Wednesday’s press conference, Tomohiro Okada – who controls 53.27% of the voting rights in Okada Holdings Ltd – said he condemned his father’s takeover and was “organizing the boards of OHL, UEC, and TRAL to immediately address this issue, work with our legal teams, and seek redress from the High Court of the Philippines to put to rest the Kazuo group’s futile attempt at what is truly a shameful corporate heist.”
“I do not recognize the illegitimate occupation of Okada Manila or any of their claims that they now manage and control Okada Manila,” he said.
“I only recognize the legitimate board of TRLEI led by Byron Yip, who was duly elected by shareholders, to run Okada Manila. My father’s minority voting stakes in OHL does not give him the right to control Okada Manila – much less appoint anyone as part of its board.”
Addressing media questions on Wednesday, Elamparo described Kazuo Okada’s occupation of Okada Manila as a “sham” and even went so far as to imply the name “Okada” in Okada Manila does not pertain to the company’s founder.
“Okada is a family and the Okada family business has long been controlled not by Kazuo Okada but by his son Tomohiro Okada,” she said.
“He is the one in control of the family business which is the ultimate parent company Okada Holdings Ltd and no less than the Supreme Court of Japan has upheld his control of the family business.”
TRAL said it plans to launch further legal action against Kazuo Okada, including seeking a restraining order, against Kazuo Okada in Hong Kong.