An anti-crime group filed criminal charges against controversial Chinese gambling tycoon Jack Lam before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday.
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) President Dante Jimenez and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio filed the case against Lam for alleged violation of the Anti-Dummy Law (Commonwealth Act No. 108), in connection with Lam’s operations at the Fort Ilocandia Resort in Laoag City.
The VACC alleges Lam is liable because under the 1987 Constitution, foreign ownership in corporations is limited to 40 percent.
“It is common knowledge among business owners, especially in the field of entertainment and gaming, that it is Lam Yin Lok aka Jack Lam who is personally running and managing these corporations contrary to the Anti-Dummy Law which also prohibits employment by any person, corporation, or association of an alien, who shall intervene in the management, operation, administration or control thereof,” the complaint said.
Aside from Lam, also charged were: Rosanno P. Nisce, Fort Ilocandia president; Siu Wah Chung, former chairman of Fort Ilocandia’s board of directors; Edgar Lim, former treasurer and director of Fort Ilocandia; and Jose Roberto L. Mumuric, former secretary and director of Fort Ilocandia.
“Through corporate layering, Fort Ilocandia, through its dummy companies, and its directors and officers, are able to exercise, enjoy, use and exploit real property in the Philippines, contrary to law,” the document stated.
“Fort Ilocandia was able to operate, own and control the above stated assets including the real property wherein the hotel is situated. Fort Ilocandia is able is able to exploit a right the enjoyment of which is limited to Filipino citizens and corporations,” it stressed.
VACC asked the DOJ to dig deeper into Fort Ilocandia’s stockholdings which, they revealed consists of Ilocandia Holdings Corp. (IHC) and Intellectual Group Ltd. IHC’s stockholdings consist of Sevenseas Holdings and the foreign corporation Corpsmart Ltd. The group alleges that Lam’s business interests exceed that 40-percent limit under Philippine laws.
“The corporate structure of the above corporations, despite being seemingly compliant with the Philippine laws, warrants a deeper investigation as to their real foreign equities and those of their subsidiaries and/or affiliates,” the VACC said.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd divulged in late November that that Lam tried to bribe him in exchange for protection of his business interests in the Philippines.
A newspaper column on December 10 alleged that Bureau of Immigration deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Mike Robles, fraternity brothers of President Duterte and Aguirre, extorted money from Lam through retired police official Wally Sombero, in exchange for the release of 600 undocumented Chinese workers who were among those arrested at the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Pampanga last November 24.
Argosino and Robles have admitted receiving P30 million from Sombero, but quickly clarified that they meant to use it as evidence of bribery.
The VACC said they also want the DOJ to dig deeper into the syndicates operating in the BI that had allowed illegal aliens to work in unlicensed gaming establishments inside the Fontana Resort.