Laglagan na! Tim Hortons’ Ricky Yap disowns ‘angel investor’ Bren Chong after World Balance scion got embroiled in drug smuggling case

The local franchise holder of Tim Hortons has denied any links to fugitive businessman Bernard “Bren Lu Chong after the World Balance heir was charged with drug smuggling.

In a letter to Bilyonaryo, Tim Hortons Philippines president Enrique “Ricky” Yap Jr. disputed claims that Chong was the “owner” of the Philippine franchise of the Canadian fast-food chain.

Barnaby Chong claims brother Bren has no links to World Balance: He has long decided to pursue his own interests

“While normally we find your publication to be very informative for the public, in this case we would like to highlight that the connection between Tim Hortons Philippines Inc. and Mr. Chong is factually inaccurate,” said Yap, a grandson of the late bilyonaryo Don Emilio Yap.

“Mr. Chong is neither an owner, shareholder, officer, employee, or otherwise connected in any way to THPI or any of our related companies. A review of our corporate documents will clearly show that this is the case,” Yap added.

UPDATED| NBI hunts down Bren Chong, son of World Balance owner: Court orders arrest of Lyka app boss for alleged drug smuggling

Tim Hortons is the second firm to disown Chong as an owner after a Manila Court issued an arrest warrant against him for the alleged smuggling of P1.87 billion worth of shabu concealed in a plastic resin shipment consigned to Fortuneyield Cargo Services. The Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau listed Chong as president and general manager of Fortuneyield.

Chong’s brother, Barnaby, president of World Balance Philippines, claimed the drug smuggling suspect was not a shareholder or officer in the family business and even threatened to sue Bilyonaryo.

Chong, however, has for years been publicly declaring both Tim Hortons Philippines and World Balance as part of his business portfolio.

For example, in a podcast interview with RJ Ledesma in October 2020, Chong was described as an angel investor or founder of Tim Hortons when it opened its first store in Southeast Asia in the Philippines five years ago.

In the podcast, Chong revealed one of his life goals was to “experience” an initial public offering with his many businesses, including Tim Hortons and World Balance.

“I told Ricky sa Tim Horton, IPO tayo. ‘Di ko lang maconvince ‘yung brother ko sa World Balance mag-IPO,” said Chong.

Ledesma also declared in the same podcast: “To me, ikaw na ang may ari ng World Balance and yet you have to make a living selling shoes.. plus pinagtrabaho ka pa sa Kenny Rogers.”

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