Imperial Pacific International Holdings, a casino operator from Saipan, previously vowed to aggressively react to the corruption allegations made by Bloomberg and is now making good on their promise.
IPI Holdings is a company focusing on developing and operating integrated resorts and leisure facilities in Saipan. Saipan is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands. IPI is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
IPI revealed past weekend they plan to look into all available legal solutions to counter the last week’s news article. In it, Bloomberg accused the company of endangering construction workers and their safety. Bloomberg reports the company is involved in sketchy financial activities. They’ve allegedly made questionable payments. Payments went to the relatives of those who oversee the company’s operations.
The board of directors at IPI alerted the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday. They firmly dismissed all allegations of any malpractices. In the statement, they advised their lawyers to bring forth legal action for defamation against Bloomberg.
This recent statement is a more resolute response than the one presented in 2017. In 2017, Bloomberg News released an article referring to allegations of similar financial malpractices. The article related to Best Sunshine Live, the company’s temporary gaming venue in Saipan. IPI commented on these allegations as well. They stated they plan to take formal legal actions against Bloomberg. However, the company has still to follow up on their promise.
Sapian Governor’s Brother Implicated
The brother of Saipan Gov. Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres, Vincent Torres, refused the claims on Tuesday. Allegations against him claim he had inappropriately benefited from the IPI land deal. In the report, Bloomberg claimed the land lease deal IPI agreed to was worth $667,000. However, the report indicates that the property was acquired by the wife of Vincent Torres. The price was only $180,000, five months before the new deal.
Vincent Torres gave a statement to the Saipan Tribune. In it, he claims the transaction was a business deal and did not include any payment for favors towards IPI. Torres continued by saying his brother was not involved in the negotiations in no way. He also maintains he wasn’t involved in the transaction of the land lease agreement.
The Bloomberg News report contained claims that Serafin Camacho signed a land lease deal worth $4 million with IPI. Serafin Camacho is the husband of the governor’s first cousin and thus directly linked to the company. The report included details that the payments for the land lease deals went out immediately after the completion. They will only take effect after 2042.
The Tribune reports that Camacho gave them a statement claiming he only received $500 for his efforts. This was only his signature on the land leasing deal. He claims that the $4 million were made out to other local landowners. He claims these landowners are not related to him or the governor. However, he refused to identify those who directly benefited from this deal.