New allegations that gambling tycoon Jack Lam tried to bribe PAGCOR official on e-gaming matter
Allegations that attempts have been made to bribe Philippines officials involved in the recent arrests of more than 1,300 visiting Chinese nationals allegedly working in e-gaming operations at the Clark Freeport have been augmented by new claims that gambling mogul Jack Lam tried to bribe Andrea Domingo, head of regulator PAGCOR, and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
InfoPowa readers will recall that earlier this week Aguirre claimed that bribery offers had been made to Immigration officials, but he did not give details or identify the briber.
He has now substantiated those claims by alleging that Lam approached him following the arrest of the Chinese workers at his e-gaming and other enterprises in the Freeport, offering an "inducement" of P100 million a month at a meeting at Bonifacio Global City.
Lam allegedly said through an intermediary (former police officer Wally Sombrero) that he was looking for a government "godfather" to protect his gaming operations, a proposal that Aguirre claims he immediately rejected.
"I told him 'no' in no uncertain terms that I do not want any part of that because we are serious in fighting corruption. If I accepted, which could easily mean P100 million a month, I would lose my moral authority to pursue the reforms ordered by the President," Aguirre told local reporters.
Aguirre additionally claimed that Lam made a separate attempt to bribe Domingo, the head of Pagcor. He said that Domingo had reported the offer to him after she was asked to allow Lam's Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino at Clark to continue its online gaming operations while he was applying for a licence.
"Andrea lost all interest in talking to Lam after that. She just told Lam to pay the government's 10-percent cut from his casino earnings and that he should first get a licence before running online gaming operations in the country," the justice secretary said.
Lam was allegedly active in offering bribes at several levels; Aguirre also claims that he reprimanded Lam for approaching officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the National Bureau of Investigation with bribes for the release of the Chinese nationals.
He accused Lam and Sombrero of offering at least P70 million to pay off BI agents so they would release the illegal Chinese who had been detained. Lam had reportedly offered at least P200,000 for each person for the release of the Chinese workers rounded up last Thursday.
"He (Lam) is funding a disinformation campaign to undermine our successful arrest of 1,316 illegal workers from China. We are currently waiting for the final report on the arrests and I assure you, heads will roll at the BI (for allowing the release of the arrested Chinese workers)," Aguirre said.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa