In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and two executives for the firm behind the under-construction Imperial Palace Saipan have reportedly been indicted on federal charges concerning allegations that they may have helped a contractor to illegally import some 600 foreign workers.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited opened the casino within the Saipan venue in July of 2017 but has since been struggling to complete work on an adjacent 500-room hotel. In an apparent effort to keep costs low, the indictment from the United States District Court for the Northern Marianas Islands purportedly claims that the firm conspired with the MCC International Saipan Limited subsidiary of Chinese construction firm China Metallurgical Group Corporation so as to unlawfully import overseas builders posing as tourists.
The indictment was filed in August of 2019 and names senior Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited executives Jianmen Xu and Liwen ‘Peter’ Wu as defendants. The federal court is also purportedly set to prosecute Yan Shi from MCC International Saipan Limited concerning allegations that the trio had violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, engaged in money laundering and conspired to illicitly harbor and employ illegal aliens.
The indictment unsealed earlier this week reportedly alleges that the three men ran a criminal scheme that saw construction workers imported into Saipan from China in contravention the CW-1 visa scheme overseen by the United States Department of Homeland Security. The source detailed that this arrangement is thought to have been in operation until March of 2017 with federal officials additionally claiming that the Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited pair had ‘implicitly and explicitly ordered’ MCC International Saipan Limited ‘to hire unauthorized alien workers’ for the purposes of helping to complete the $650 million Imperial Palace Saipan.
It was further reported that the indictment, which is said to moreover feature two unnamed and unindicted co-conspirators from Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, alleges that the illegal workers were paid in cash or via bank transfers from and to accounts in mainland China.
Reportedly read the indictment…
“Over the next year, in response to heightened scrutiny by United States Customs and Border Protection inspectors, [the defendants and co-conspirators] promulgated increasingly elaborate schemes of deception including but not limited to providing costumes and backstories to hired workers as well as pairing them with existing female employees in China. The female employees posed as the illegal foreign workers’ spouses or girlfriends in exchange for paid vacations to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In addition to reimbursing MCC International Saipan Limited and other contractors for the illegal workers’ salaries, the Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited defendants also purchased plane tickets and paid other expenses for the illegal workers and their fake spouses or girlfriends.”
The three named defendants have not yet been arrested due to the fact that they are currently living outside of the United States. However, federal authorities purportedly revealed that the trio will be detained, arraigned and brought to trial should they ever visit an extraditable jurisdiction.