DOJ: Arrest Jack Lam upon return to PH ‘if warranted’

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DOJ: Arrest Jack Lam upon return to PH ‘if warranted’

Rene B. Lumawag

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II warns about the 'strong possibility' that the Chinese gaming tycoon may 'place himself beyond the reach' of Philippine law

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday, December 5, to immediately arrest Chinese gaming tycoon Jack Lam, “if warranted,” upon his return to the Philippines.

Lam, whose real name is Yin Lok Lam, left the Philippines on November 29, a few days before President Rodrigo Duterte on December 3 ordered him arrested even without a court warrant.

“Considering the gravity of the offenses allegedly committed and apparent reports that he has already left the country, there is a strong possibility that he may attempt to place himself beyond the reach of the legal process of this government by leaving the country,” Aguirre said in an “extremely urgent and confidential memorandum” to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

“We thus deem the issuance of an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against him prudent in order to at least monitor the itineraries of [his] flight, travel, and/or whereabouts, or if warranted, effectuate his immediate arrest pursuant to the directives of the President should the subject return to the country,” Aguirre added.

The 55-year-old Lam is accused of attempting to bribe Aguirre, as well as Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chair Andrea Domingo, after a November 24 raid at the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga, where over 1,300 Chinese nationals were arrested for illegally working at the casino. (READ: Philippines detains hundreds of Chinese in casino raid)

In his memo, Aguirre also ordered Morente to “instruct all immigration officers to be on the lookout/alert” for Lam should he pass through the Philippines’ immigration counters.

The justice secretary also said the BI should “promptly relay” to him, his agency, or the Philippine National Police “any pertinent information, especially those tending to indicate that the subject individual is attempting to leave the country.” 

Aguirre earlier said there is no need for an arrest warrant for Lam to be nabbed, as he is accused of a “continuing offense.” – 

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