Gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada proclaims innocence in Hong Kong graft probe

Kyodo News

Posted at Aug 11 2018 05:45 AM

Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada, arrested late last month by Hong Kong's anti-corruption agency over corruption allegations, proclaimed his innocence through a statement issued Friday by his company, Aruze Gaming.

"It is important to note that no charges have been filed against Mr. Okada," said the statement entitled "A chance to set the record straight." "He and his family would like to make clear that they are the victims in this situation."

Hong Kong media reported last week that Okada was arrested on July 30 for alleged conspiracy to defraud, and released on bail the following day.

Okada is the former chairman of Universal Entertainment Corp., a Japanese company that makes pachinko machines and runs a casino in the Philippines.

On Monday, UEC issued a statement saying Okada was arrested by Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption "in relation to various corruption related offenses."

UEC said Okada resigned as an UEC company director on June 29, 2017, had no connection with it anymore, and UEC was cooperating fully with the ICAC investigation of Okada.

"These allegations are the latest attempt by UEC to harm Mr. Okada's reputation (with) flawed UEC special investigation committee report to make spurious allegations to the agency," the Aruze Gaming statement said. "The speed at which UEC issued a press release announcing Mr. Okada's arrest reflects a pattern of repeated attempts to discredit Mr. Okada."

It stressed that Okada's arrest does not imply that he will necessarily be charged with any crime.

The ICAC has said it does not comment on individual cases.