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ICAC

Billionaire Japanese pachinko king Kazuo Okada arrested in Hong Kong, former company says

Okada was ousted from Universal Entertainment Corp’s board last year, with the board accusing him of misappropriating US$20 million in funds.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 6:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 6:38pm

Controversial Japanese casino tycoon Kazuo Okada has been arrested in Hong Kong over alleged and unspecified “corruption-related” offences, his former company in Tokyo said on Monday.

Universal Entertainment Corporation said the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) had arrested Okada and released him on bail.

The ICAC was not able to confirm the information immediately, citing a policy on not commenting on individual incidents.

“Upon receipt of a corruption complaint and should there be sufficient information to pursue, the ICAC will follow up on it in accordance with the law and established procedures,” the organisation said in a statement.

The Japanese pachinko king taking a bet on Hong Kong justice

The Japanese billionaire lost his board position at Universal last year after it accused him of misappropriating US$20 million. Okada has previously denied this.

He was also ousted as a director of Hong Kong investment company Okada Holdings, which controls Universal.

Attempts to reach Okada by phone went unanswered.

The firm and its former boss are now embroiled in lawsuits and Universal Entertainment stressed in its statement that Okada “has no further connection with us whatsoever”.

Universal Entertainment, which makes pinball style “pachinko” machines and operates a casino in the Philippines, pledged to assist the ICAC with its investigation.

According to Forbes, Okada is the 16th richest person in Japan, with a net worth that currently stands at US$2.1 billion.

Additional reporting by Reuters