Tax evasion destination

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AS Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has placed tourism at the forefront of his agenda for economic revival, I figured I would contribute to the endeavor by means of a marketing slogan. 

After much consideration, I came up with, “A Destination for your Tax Evasion Aspirations.”

You may be wondering how I came up with this somewhat absurd slogan?  One just needs to look at the environment around them.  I’m going to localize this a bit to the island of Rota in particular by using my good ole’ friend To’ as an example.  Had Al Capone resided in the CNMI, he would have only visited Alcatraz Island as a tourist instead of a resident.

Only in the CNMI have I witnessed an individual file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, become an elected official and subsequently change their fortune from horrendous to phenomenal.  To’ if anyone has been following his bad fortune can remember a time in which his home was being foreclosed and his finances being scrutinized because of his inability to pay creditors. During that particular period, his assets if you can remember including a beach hotel, commercial building and several smaller real estate property were all being placed on public auctioned to recover the large debts.

To’ must have a blue print for turning bad situations into good ones through public office.  Early in his career succeeding his term in the legislature, To’ found himself an investor to build a golf resort on a secluded island with exponential geographic disadvantages.  You will notice then like now, To’ came out on top of the negotiations as the real property acquired sat conveniently adjacent to his, earning him substantial sums of money in the process.

Let us examine the present day situation.  This individual secured a seat on the CNMI Senate, subsequently landing him in the Lt. Governor’s seat, and finally earning a seat back in the Senate as the Senate President.  In the duration of public office, we have witnessed public funds improperly disbursed by means of legislative resolution, the arrival of a monopolized Saipan casino investor that pays consultants before its employees, and the subsidizing of crane parts for affiliated private businesses to name a few.

Upon evaluation of the aforementioned, I would say that would be sufficient cause for curiosity.  What I find more interesting are the transaction timelines.  The release of the $400,000 is within the timeline of the repurchase of his home of “his immediate relative where he resides” in Sinapalo, Rota.  The arrival of the exclusive casino on Saipan is relatively along the timeline of the purchase of the a luxurious fishing vessel and the purchase of a Black SUV similar to the ones we see on Saipan picking up high-end gambling enthusiasts.

I have tried closing my eyes several times telling myself they are mere coincidences.  When I open them up again though, my logic takes over saying, “don’t be an ignorant fool.” The question remains, “How can man on a fixed income as a public official acquire such extravagant luxuries legally?”  My devious side says, “What if they were merely gifts?”  My logical side though says, “Can such gifts be considered or misconstrued as bribes?”  If so, can I get the number to your nino and make him mine too?  If this were the U.S. mainland, such an individual would be at the very least on the IRS’ watch list for possible tax evasion practices.

As you can see, this should be reason enough to use my marketing campaign to attract potential tourists.  As Guam post signage for its visitors, we too should post, “Bisita ham ya un nana salape mu guiya Marianas!”

 

ROSS HUGH S. MANGLONA

As Lito, Saipan

 

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