The Department of Justice (DOJ) has called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to conduct a probe of tax liabilities of Chinese gambling magnate Jack Lam over his illegal online gaming operations in Clark Field, Pampanga.
According to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, it is possible that Lam has unpaid taxes and could be held liable for tax evasion.
“The BIR should investigate his [Lam’s] tax liabilities and make him pay. If he doesn’t pay, then his [pieces of]property will be distrained and those are big ones like Fontana Park and Fort Ilocandia,” Aguirre said.
Lam paying his taxes was a condition laid down by President Rodrigo Duterte before the business tycoon could go back to the Philippines.
“If he doesn’t pay, the government will sequester and sell his [assets]thru public auction as his payment for the tax liabilities Aguirre said.
The DOJ secretary added that Lam may enter into a compromise agreement with the government in settling his tax deficiencies.
Aguirre earlier said that had tried to bribe him in exchange for protection of his business interests in the Philippines.
A newspaper column on December 10 revealed that Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Mike Robles, fraternity brothers of the President and Aguirre, allegedly extorted money from Lam, through retired police Chief Supt. Wally Sombero, in exchange for the release of 600 undocumented Chinese workers who were among those arrested at the Fontana Leisure Park and Casino Hotel in Pampanga owned by Lam.
The 600 workers were among 1,316 undocumented Chinese allegedly involved in illegal online gambling operations inside Fontana.
Argosino and Robles admitted that they received P30 million from Sombero but quickly clarified that they kept the money so that they can use it later as evidence of corruption.
They said they also want to dig deeper about the syndicates operating in the Immigration bureau that allegedly are behind the employment of undocumented foreigners in unlicensed gaming establishments inside Fontana. JOMAR CANLAS