Casino-hotel, employees in peril: BDO, UBP, Asia United freeze Kazuo-Tonyboy group's access to Okada Manila bank accounts

Casino-hotel, employees in peril: BDO, UBP, Asia United freeze Kazuo-Tonyboy group’s access to Okada Manila bank accounts

Three banks have decided to freeze the accounts of Okada Manila following the illegal and violent takeover by the group of Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada and bilyonaryo Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco of the casino hotel three weeks ago.

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BDO Unibank (BDO), Asia United Bank (AUB) and Union Bank of the Philippines have cutt off the Kazuo-Tonyboy’s group’s access to its bank deposits until the warring Okada Manila factions – the legitimate Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) led by Hajime Tokuda and Byron Yip and the Kazuo-Tonyboy group – have settled the ownership of the casino hotel.

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In a statement , TRLEI legal counsel Abogado Estrella Elamparo said BDO, UBP, and AUB have become more prudent in handling Okada Manila’s financial requirements following the Supreme Court’s issuance of a status quo ante order (SQAO) which the Kazuo-Tonyboy group used as a basis to kick out the Tukada-Yip group on May 31.

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Elamparo said BDO urged both parties to sign an agreement to disburse the salaries of Okada Manila’s 5,000 employees.

“Despite being on the right side of the law, the legitimate board of TRLEI decided to draft and sign the agreement, understanding that the welfare of the employees is at stake. However, the camp of Kazuo Okada was not keen on signing the agreement, imposing unreasonable conditions,” said Elamparo, a senior partner of Divina Law.

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With the Kazuo-Tonyboy group refusing to sign any document with Tokuda’s name on it, Elamparo said the three banks were forced to file a case in court to compel both parties to interplead between themselves.

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Elamparo said Okada Manila may choose to use the “cage money” or the revenues generated from the operations of the casino and hotel to fund the operations and the salaries of Okada Manila’s employees.

“After their violent and illegal takeover, Okada Manila has no access to its bank accounts… No bank will engage with an entity under an ownership dispute… We expect Okada Manila’s funds to dwindle in the coming weeks, putting not only guests at the losing end, but at the same time putting at risk its over 5,000 employees, many of whom rely on their salaries to meet their daily needs,” Elamparo said.

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Okada Manila’s parent firm, Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. (TRAL), has informed government agencies that it has not recognized Kazuo Okada or any of his appointed board members as new management and that it would be unable to infuse new capital to fund the daily operations and salaries of workers until Kazuo-Tonyboy’s group has agreed to settle the dispute.

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Elamparo urged the Kazuo-Tonyboy group to disclose how it plans to bankroll the continued operations of Okada Manila.

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“The legitimate board of TRLEI hopes that these issues will be resolved soon as they plan to move forward with its listing in NASDAQ through the merger with 26 Capital,” Elamparo said.

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26 Capital Acquisition is a special purpose acquisitions firm which will merge with Okada Manila to form Universal Entertainment Resorts Incorporated (UERI) and pave the way for its plan to raise $275 million from its initial public offering on Nasdaq.

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