Duerte Makes Offer To Fugitive Casino Tycoon Jack LamDecember 9, 2016 12:41 pm
The chairman of Jimei International Entertainment Group, Jack Lam Yin-lok, who has an arrest warrant issued against him in the Philippines has apparently now been told that providing he renegotiates a settlement and pays his taxes then he will subsequently be allowed to resume his casino operation in the country. As Duerte explained:
“If he is agreeable to a renegotiation and apologize for offering something, a bribe, it’s okay [with] me because he has offered to come back to resume his business and pay his taxes.”
The Chinese gambling magnate, who left the country last Thursday, stands accused of having run an illegal online gaming operation from his Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Pampanga. In addition, the country’s Justice Secretary and the CEO of the government-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) have both accused Jack Lam of attempting to bribe them in order to evade paying government taxes.
As a result, the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino is currently shut under orders from President Duterte, with the group’s other operation in the Philippines, Ilocos Norte in Laoag City, also closed. In the meantime, 1,300 Chinese nationals working at Fontana Leisure Parks have been arrested for helping to run an illegal online gaming business, although around 500 have since been released after posting bail.
Commenting on the detained Chinese nationals, chief of the Bureau of Immigration, Karen Domingo-Gandamra, said that they “seemed very rich”, drove expensive cars, and rented apartments despite the Fontana casino’s closure.
As to Jack Lam Yin-lok, the country’s President Duterte said that he would consider letting him off the hook if he paid his taxes and renegotiated a different tax rate than the one organized under the country’s 11th President Corazon Aquino. As Duterte commented:
“I’d like to announce in advance because to avoid speculation, that stupid person Jack Lam has sent feelers that he would like to come back. One, because he takes pity on the 6,000 plus Filipinos out of job. Second, he said he would settle his obligation. And third, that contract that was signed during Cory’s time is no longer acceptable to me. He only pays one percent while the rest of the guys there are paying 10.”