Jack Lam’s partner accuses Philippines Justice Secretary of harassment


In the latest development regarding local gaming mogul Jack Lam’s involvement in the Philippines online gaming scandal, gambling operator Charlie ‘Atong’ Ang has accused Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre of acting as a protector of casino junket operator Kim Wong, according to local media.
Ang, according to statements made during the hearing on illegal online gambling operations based out of Lam’s Fontana Leisure Park, has had a 19-year partnership with the local businessman, and denied in the hearing that Lam’s casino had failed to pay taxes correctly, as noted by local media.
“Aguirre and Kim Wong started the harassment of Jack Lam. I can prove this,” Ang stated, as quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Justice Secretary responded by ordering the country’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate himself, noting the Bureau is “hereby directed and granted authority to conduct investigation and case build-up over the accusations of Ang […] against the Secretary of Justice,” as well as into National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon – whom Ang accuses of asking officials not to patronise Lam’s partner’s operations.
The Secretary asked the NBI Director to supply him with a report of compliance with the order and the results within 15 days, notes local media reports.
In addition, Aguirre noted that the current Administration would not allow Ang to continue with his gambling operation outside the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) in the wake of Executive Order 13 from Philippine President Duterte outlawing illegal gambling.
“The operation of Meridien outside of CEZA is illegal. [The authorities] will not tolerate any illegal act” Aguirre noted, as cited by local media. In addition, the Secretary noted that Ang’s comments come due to the businessman wanting to “get back at me for busting the illegal gambling operations of Fontana […], owned by Jack Lam, his business partner and best friend. He is also paranoid that his big income from illegal gambling will come to an end,” Journal Online cited the Secretary as saying.
Late last month, Jack Lam sold off control of his gaming group Jimei International Entertainment Group Ltd. for HK$443.17 million to Cosmic Leader Holdings Limited.