Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Nov 2019 12am

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    Thursday, November 21, 2019-4:02:43A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Finance secretary: IPI wired money to pay license fee

IMPERIAL Pacific International on Monday wired its payment for the $15 million annual license fee, Finance Secretary David Atalig told Variety on Tuesday.

Since it is an international money transfer coming from a Hong Kong bank, it will take 24 to 48 hours before the remittance registers in Finance’s account, Atalig said.

David Deleon Guerrero Atalig

“We know that they were due yesterday, Monday, so we had a communication from them, wiring funds on that day.”

Atalig said as soon as the remittance appears in the CNMI government’s account, he will inform the Commonwealth Casino Commission, the Attorney General’s Office and other concerned branches and government agencies of the exact amount of money wired by IPI.

In case the money wired is not the full amount, Atalig said IPI has a 14-day grace period to settle the total amount due.

Prior to the money transfer, he said IPI requested to use its $10 million security deposit with the Department of Public Land to pay a portion of the license fee. On Tuesday, however, IPI rescinded its request, which means that the casino investor will pay the full amount within the 14-day grace period.

Atalig said the Department of Finance and its Division of Revenue and Taxation have been “following the due process afforded to taxpayers.”

“We have been communicating with the casino investor,” Atalig added. And so far, he said IPI has been following the legal process.

“We hope to have some resolution within the next couple of weeks in regards to other taxes due to the CNMI.”

Commonwealth Casino Commission Chairman Juan Sablan said IPI is required by law and the license agreement to pay the annual license fee.

On Facebook, House Minority Leader Edwin Propst said IPI “failed to pay the $15 million they owe the CNMI government for their monopoly license.”

He added, “The question is, will their license be revoked, as it should be? Will the administration inform the people of the Commonwealth what is really going on?”