Floating Casino Taken into Gov’t Custody

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The Philippine government has taken custody of the MV Philippine Dream, also known as the Floating Casino, following its recent auction to a Singaporean firm, an official said. Neri Yu, legal officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR-7) in Central Visayas, said a Philippine Coast Guard vessel secured the ship while the bureau is still waiting for the payment from Aston PTE Ltd., the winning bidder. Yu said Aston PTE Ltd. is already preparing $1.34m, which will be wired from a bank in Singapore to a bank in Mandaue City. Once payment is made, the bureau can execute a certificate of sale and the winning bidder can take custody of the vessel. The Singaporean firm, however, has asked if it would shoulder the $272,707 lien of the Bureau of Customs. Yu said the BIR Central office will resolve the matter within the week. For now, Coast Guard personnel, Bureau of Customs (BOC) and BIR representatives will guard the floating casino. The Coast Guard ship will remain anchored beside the vessel until payment is made. [Source: http://globalnation.inquirer.net]

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