SOMBERO GIVES EVIDENCE BEFORE PHILIPPINES SENATE COMMITTEE
16th February, 2017 at 06:54:37
Bribery scandal pushed online gambling in the region to the brink of extinction, "facilitator" claims.
Online gambling facilitator and central figure in the Philippines bribery scandal, Wally Sombero, has given evidence before a Senate committee following his return to the Philippines this week (see previous reports).
Sombero again denied that he attempted to bribe two top immigration officials and the national Justice Secretary, acting as a facilitator for online gambling tycoon Jack Lam, instead portraying himself as a consultant who had offered his services to government and helped form a self-regulatory trade body, the Asian Gaming Service Provider Association.
Sombero said that through his efforts to legitimise and "save" the regional online gambling industry he had become "engulfed" in a controversy that has pushed the online gaming service industry to "the brink of extinction,"
"Believe it or not, I truly wanted to help President Duterte's administration in as much as I was totally convinced that the Filipino people had finally elected a president who is sincerely committed to reform and has the political will to execute the necessary actions," Sombero said.
The former police officer said he had been involved in investigative research, the focus of which was the underground gambling industry, and had developed an extensive network of contacts when he moved to the US and different parts of Asia. He claimed that he had encouraged leading industry figures to invest in the Philippines gambling industry.
Sombero stands accused of offering huge monetary bribes last year to two senior Philippines Bureau of Immigration officials and the nation's Justice Secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre, allegedly working on behalf of land and online gambling mogul Jack Lam.
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