By: Roy Bersales
THE controversial Chinese businessman Jack Lam who has been engaged gambling business in the country supposedly for 30 years was finally sued before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) headed by Dante Jimenez slapped Lam and four others for violating the 40 percent foreign ownership law in connection with his share at the Fort Ilocandia in Laoag City.
The four other respondents are Rosanno Nisce (former president of Fort Ilocandia), Siu Wah Chung (a British national and former chairman of the Board of Directors), Edgar Lim (former treasurer and director of Fort Ilocandia), and Jose Roberto Mumuric (former secretary and director of Fort Ilocandia).
The VACC said Lam, Nisce, Chung, Lim, and Mumuric have violated Section 2, paragraph A of the Commonwealth Act 108, otherwise known as the Anti-Dummy Law.
VACC said “Through corporate layering, Fort Ilocandia, through its dummy companies, and its directors and officers, are able to exercise, enjoy, use and exploit real property, contrary to law.”
VACC revealed that Fort Ilocandia’s stockholdings consist of Ilocandia Holdings Corporation (59 percent), IGL (39 percent), and Lam Yin Lok or Lam has a one percent share.
With 1%, it showed that Lam and four other complainants were compliant with the Anti-Dummy Law.
The Ilocandia Holdings Corporation’s stockholdings are composed of Sevenseas Holdings (59 percent) and Corpsmart Ltd. (39 percent).
“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,” VACC strongly argued.
It averred that “It is common knowledge among business owners, especially in the field of entertainment and gaming, that it is Lam Yin Lok a.k.a. Jack Lam who is personally running and managing these corporations, [which is] contrary to the Anti-Dummy Law.”
Lam also is the owner of the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga where online gambling exists.
The online gambling at the Fontana has two kinds of players: the local bettors and foreigners.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the arrest of Lam for bribery and economic sabotage.
Duterte also ordered the closure of Lam’s Fort Ilocandia and Fontana following the expose to the media that the two firms where engaged in questionable operations.
Duterte also directed the confiscations of Lam’s assets in the country.
Lam’s business was reportedly based on the permit issued by the late President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.
Lam’s business got the attention of the President of the country after Bureau of Immigration (BI) Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles asked Lam’s camp P50 Million for the release of the 600 Chinese nationals out of more than 1,000 Chinese nationals who were arrested by BI policemen last month after they were discovered to have been illegally working in Lam’s online gambling business.
Argosino and Robles have resigned from the BI and were subsequently sacked by Duterte due to the extortion scandal.
Retired Chief Supt. Wally Sombero gave Argosino and Robles the P50 Million in behalf of Lam on November 27 at the City of Dreams in Paranaque City.
This incident was caught in a video.
According to Sombero, the Chinese nationals were not released as agreed upon because the two BI officials asked for an additional P100 Million.
In a press conference, Argosino and Robles admitted that they accepted the P50 Million, but the multi-million deal would be used as an evidence in proving the guilt of retired Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., BI chief intelligence officer, and several cohorts, on extortion operations.
But was mum on the P100 Million.
Argosino and Robles came into the open and called for a press conference several days after they got the money—that was after the extortion scandal exploded to the media.
The two gave Calima P20 Million, of which the P2 Million went to Sombero apparently as a commission.
Sombero denied the accusations saying the P2 Million was supposedly used for the expenses on the release of Chinese nationals.