FBI mum  on raids  in Saipan

CONSULTANT'S OFFICE: FBI agents are seen Thursday outside the office of Alfred Yue of Marianas Consultancy Services LLC, a consultant of Imperial Pacific International, Saipan's casino operator. Yue's office is located at the IPI-owned Vestcorp commercial plaza on Capital Hill. The FBI said it executed several search warrants in Saipan Thursday. The FBI declined to elaborate. Among the offices raided were the governor's office and Legend Realty.  Courtesy: Sophia Perez/Marianas Variety/For The Guam Daily Post

The FBI is not commenting on whether additional search warrants were executed Friday following a series of raids on Thursday in Saipan that included Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres’ office and home and Imperial Pacific International's offices. Imperial Pacific International is a Chinese investment holding company that owns the Imperial Palace casino on Saipan.

FBI Honolulu special agent Jason White said the bureau had no further comment on the ongoing investigation that came as a surprise to the Saipan community.

Agents descended upon the CNMI Governor’s Office, IPI offices at the Marianas Heights Building, Marianas Consultancy Services LLC, and other locations.

The FBI has not provided information about the various locations of the raids, the nature of the investigation, or what items were confiscated.

Torres said he and his staff were providing the “fullest measure of cooperation.”

'Good corporate citizens'

On Thursday, IPI Holdings Ltd and IPI LLC issued a press release stating the companies have nothing to hide and will cooperate with law enforcement authorities.

"We want (to) assure the people of the CNMI that we continue to be law-abiding and good corporate citizens who are proud and privileged to be members of the CNMI," the companies stated. "We want (to) assure our employees, their families, vendors, patrons, and residents alike that our companies are intent on succeeding and making the CNMI the jewel of the Pacific for our emerging gaming industry."

'Embarrassing'

Delegate Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan, the CNMI's lone representative in Congress, said it was both “sad and embarrassing” for the people of the CNMI to know their governor is under investigation by the FBI.

“But, in our system of justice, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Sablan told The Guam Daily Post. “I encourage the governor, other government officials, and anyone who is approached to cooperate fully with the FBI, other federal and Commonwealth law enforcement officials. The people have a right to be protected from corruption, no matter where it occurs; particularly if it’s at the highest office of the commonwealth.”

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