Recently the press has reported that Mr. Kazuo Okada has been arrested by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (“ICAC”). It is important to note that no charges have been filed against Mr. Okada. He and his family would like to make clear that they are the victims in this situation and Mr. Okada would like to take the opportunity to set the record straight regarding the false and malicious allegations made by Universal Entertainment Corporation (“UEC”) and its senior executives.
These allegations are the latest attempt by UEC to harm Mr. Okada’s reputation. After UEC’s apparently failed attempt to have the Hong Kong Police take action against Mr. Okada, it is now relying on the same flawed UEC Special Investigation Committee Report to make spurious allegations to the ICAC. The speed at which UEC issued a press release announcing Mr. Okada’s arrest reflects a pattern of repeated attempts to discredit Mr. Okada.
The ICAC was formed in the 1970’s in Hong Kong predominantly to combat public corruption, particularly among government employees. Among their powers is the ability to make an arrest without a warrant, based on allegations presented to them. Mr. Okada voluntarily presented himself to the ICAC to answer their questions regarding the allegations raised against him. The first time the ICAC heard Mr. Okada’s side of the story was when he voluntarily presented himself for questioning. We must take this opportunity to stress that no charges have been filed against Mr. Okada either by the ICAC or any other law enforcement agencies in any countries.
It is important to note that the concept of arrest is very different in Hong Kong when compared to many other countries, such as the U.S., Japan, and the Philippines. In Hong Kong it is routine for the police to arrest individuals at early stages of their investigation to interview them. An arrest usually precedes a complete and thorough investigation and it certainly does not mean that the police believe that the arrested person is guilty, or that they have sufficient evidence against that person, or that he will necessarily be charged. No judge or court is involved in the decision to arrest usually, and no probable cause is required in the decision to arrest in Hong Kong.
We expect that most people reading the sensational news about Mr. Okada do not have a proper understanding of the ICAC’s process in Hong Kong. It is believed that UEC’s intention is to destroy Mr. Okada and break up his family. They hope most people reading the latest reports will not understand the details and will simply gain a negative impression of Mr. Okada. We reiterate that no criminal charges have been filed. The investigation process will provide the opportunity for the truth to come out.
Mr. Okada is innocent, and he is an upstanding, honorable, and respectable person. Mr. Okada will regain control of the company he founded and repair the damage these acts by UEC have caused his family.
Mr. Okada is the visionary founder of several global companies, including UEC and Aruze. Aruze supports him in this unfortunate situation in which he and his family are victims of malicious attacks. Aruze wants everyone to know the truth about Mr. Okada and fully supports Mr. Okada and his family in their efforts to have the truth be known.