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Friday 9 December 2016

Brown stuck in Philippines over fraud allegations

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Grammy award-winning singer Chris Brown's departure from the Philippines was delayed yesterday because of fraud allegations against him and his promoter for a cancelled concert last New Year's Eve.

The singer, who performed at a packed concert on Tuesday night in Manila, was prevented from leaving on a private plane pending clearance by the Bureau of Immigration.

The religious group that owns the New Year's Eve concert venue petitioned the Department of Justice for help prosecuting Brown.

It wasn't immediately clear whether a formal complaint was filed.

Bureau of Immigration spokeswoman Elaine Tan said Brown and his promoter, John Michael Pio Roda, were placed on the bureau's "lookout bulletin" on the instruction of the Department of Justice.

Ms Tan said the justice department order directs the bureau to "take prudent steps to verify on the status of the criminal case against the subjects."

"If the concerned agency raises no objection to the departure, then we will allow the subject to leave," Tan said.

The singer cancelled a New Year's Eve concert at the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena at the last minute, reportedly because he lost his passport the day before the event.

The legal counsel of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo and its Maligaya Development Corporation (MDC), which manages the Philippine Arena, wrote on Tuesday to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to ask for assistance in prosecuting the criminal complaint for fraud that the MDC is filing against Brown and Pio Roda.

The letter said after making representations that Brown would perform at the concert, and after having fully paid for the two men's services, Brown failed to appear, to the damage and prejudice of MDC.

Brown had a concert scheduled for last night in Hong Kong, but calls to the venue were not answered.

A posting earlier yesterday on the singer's Twitter account said a concert later this week in Jakarta, Indonesia, was being cancelled for unspecified safety concerns.

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