Bodog Asia in the Philippines had apparently been on the local radar for some time which culminated in a raid on the offices on Thursday, November 21st, but the reports coming in are conflicting. CalvinAyre.com news states that several employees have been sequestered in a boardroom and police are asking for names and addresses. CalvinAyre.com is the site headed by Calvin Ayre, founder of Bodog.
PerformInsider.com's Pace Lattin says the raid was made based on political pressure from “Gangster Governor” Chavit Singson. Lattin's report goes on to say "According to the warrant, this was done based on an investigation that somehow Bodog was offering gambling on a street level."
One witness said: “I read the questionable documents being thrown around by the authorities and they were referencing local gambling violations, however the company does not offer services to the locals."
The report up at CalvinAyre.com says that Bodog doesn't provide gaming to the Philippines because it would violate their license with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and suggests that a group of former employees, led by Swedish national Jan Robert Gustafsson, were the ringleaders of the raid, not Singson.
Gustafsson is under indictment for fraud and theft, and the site says, “The timing is no coincidence as three more charges were laid today against Gustafsson, Sherwin Quiambao, Arleen Aldaba and Patrik Selin. The current charges stem from more findings in the ongoing forensic audit looking into the past dealings of Gustafsson et al. during their time with the Asian online gaming company.”
PocketFives adds that an “informant” told Philippine officials that Ayre, who was indicted in the United States in February of 2012, has been “organizing ‘dummy’ corporations in the Philippines to relocate the base of his worldwide illegal gambling and money laundering operations.”
The following statement was received by PocketFives from the Bodog Manila office:
”As you may have heard, Bodog Asia has been falsely accused of running a numbers game to residents of the Philippines (part of our license agreement is not to offer services to residents of the Philippines and, therefore, we do not). The local police are, however, obliged to follow up the accusation and we are, of course, fully cooperating with them to quickly clear up the situation. In the meantime, some of our services are, naturally, being disrupted as our staff help the police. We are confident this issue will be resolved quickly with minimum disruption to our customers and we thank you for your patience."
An update in today from CalvinAyre.com: The raid went down at 4pm local time and of the 12 unarmed, plain clothed police officers only four had government issued identification. The company is accused of involvement in the local numbers game — Jueteng.
How did some of the Bodog staff handle being held for eight hours for questioning in the office? "They ordered about $400 worth of pizza and the staff played charades, foosball and continued to pack care packages for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan which hit the central Philippine islands late last week."
Apparently the police didn't want to be left out of the party reports one unnamed employee, "the police were “eating pizza and bumming smokes” during the 8-hour ordeal with one officer admitting he knew the raid was politically motivated."
The Bodog legal team is working on a petition to the courts.
Get more news as it develops here at PokerWorks.
Image courtesy of CalvinAyre.com.