The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested one person in regards to the death of a construction worker at the site of the Best Sunshine Live casino which is being developed in Saipan by Best Sunshine International which is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-listed company Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd.
The Pacific island of Saipan is a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and comes under U.S. Jurisdiction. A statement from FBI stated that the person had been arrested after investigations.
In a statement Michele Ernst, a FBI spokeswoman said,
The FBI conducted a search and made an arrest in response to the recent death of an individual working at the construction site of the Imperial Pacific Resort. The investigation is related to allegations of a federal violation of the workplace visa system, including reports the company was systematically harboring individuals who are out of status and in violation of federal statutes
FBI clarified that it often worked with local agencies to probe into reports of human trafficking in the labor sector. A 43-year old Chinese worker had fallen off a scaffold on the site where a permanent facility is being built for Imperial Pacific’s casino. The casino is currently operating out of temporary facilities in a luxury mall.
According to locals, the FBI had visited the office of the casino operator on the island last week, spending several hours inside and barring access to others. Imperial Pacific issued a statement subsequently that the company’s board of directors had investigated into the incident and was now assured that the investigation did not involve either the Group or its employees. It said that the FBI’s visit had been to a contractor’s office and not to Imperial Pacific.
The Imperial Pacific Resort was expected to be opened on Mar 31 but is still awaiting final clearances and permits from the local Department of Public Works. The company has announced that once the permanent facility starts operations, the temporary premises will close. Imperial Pacific has invested $343 million into the project as on December 2016 according to a company announcement.
Spread over 140,000 square meters the new gaming floor will boast of 198 slot machines and 72 gaming tables, with 38 of them being allotted to VIP gaming while the remaining 34 are for the mass market. Subsequent phases of the project will segregate VIP and mass market gaming areas. The proposed second phase will focus on an exclusive VIP level while Phase I will be dedicated to mass market gaming.