Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd, the developer of a casino resort (pictured) on the Pacific island of Saipan, said on Friday it was providing assistance to an investigation by “local enforcement authorities”. The announcement came following media reports on Thursday the that U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had executed several search warrants on Saipan on that day, including at the offices of people reportedly connected with Imperial Pacific International.
“An office of the group in Saipan assisted in an investigation at the request of local enforcement authorities, and provided relevant information and documents as required by the enforcement authorities,” Imperial Pacific International said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The filing did not provide detail on the information and documents provided to the authorities.
The firm added: “The board confirms that to the best of its knowledge, the aforementioned does not have any impact on the daily operations of the group.”
Imperial Pacific International is currently the only business authorised, via a subsidiary, to run a casino complex on Saipan – the Imperial Palace. Saipan is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands – also known as CNMI – a United States jurisdiction.
The Imperial Pacific International filing did not disclose the matters being investigated by the law enforcement authorities. It also did not provide detail about the relevance of Imperial Pacific International or of its representatives to the investigation.
“The company shall continue to comply with all relevant requirements, and where necessary, make further announcement(s) [on this matter] as and when appropriate,” said Imperial Pacific International in its Friday filing.
At least two media outlets had reported on Thursday that the FBI had executed on that day searches at the office of CNMI Governor Ralph Torres, and at the offices of people reportedly connected to Imperial Pacific International. Neither media report provided insight on the matters being investigated.
The report by the Guam Daily Post also quoted a Thursday release by two local entities – IPI Holdings Ltd and IPI LLC – connected to Imperial Pacific International. It read: “We want 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 document added: “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.”
Imperial Pacific International posted a loss of nearly HKD1.88 billion (US$240.3 million) for the first half of 2019. That compares with a profit of approximately HKD79.0 million in the prior-year period.
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