Imperial Pacific faces another lawsuit as the South Pacific Lumber Company sues for unpaid rent dating back to March 2020.
Northern Mariana Islands.- Another day, another legal case for Imperial Pacific International. Now South Pacific Lumber Company is suing the casino operator for non-payment of rent on commercial warehouse space.
According to James Whang, of South Pacific Lumber Company, IPI stopped paying the rent in March 2020. He has asked the court to issue an order evicting IPI from the property.
He also wants injunctive reliefs to preserve IPI’s assets inside the warehouse to ensure payment of the judgment entered in the case. The company’s attorneys are seeking a payment of $391,703.13 – $276,080 for rent, $110,432 for late fees, and $5,191.13 for utilities.
IPI first leased the warehouse for a one-year period starting on May 11, 2015. Both parties agreed to extend the lease to May 10, 2021.
IPI wants to hire local workers to finish new casino in Garapan
Imperial Pacific International is seeking locals to resume work on its new casinos in Garapan – if it gets the five-year extension it wants, that is.
Reddie Dela Cruz, IPI Human Resources director, said IPI only has about 40 employees at present, mostly assigned to security. She said that as the company is facing an indefinite suspension of its gaming licence, she doesn’t know where the money to resume construction will come from.
However, she has said that the construction team has started talks with local contractors about hiring local workers if IPI is finally allowed to finish its new IR. The venue was supposed to be completed by February 28 but failed to meet that deadline.
Tao Xing, IPI senior vice president of marketing and public affairs, said the company is still waiting for a response from the Commonwealth Lottery Commission.
He said the company submitted a request in January to Gov Ralph DLG Torres but was told to resubmit it to the CLC as it had jurisdiction over IPI’s request. According to Saipan Tribune, Xing resubmitted IPI’s request to the CLC chairman on July 8.
However, there have been doubts over who should make the decision as CCC counsel Michael Ernest argued it wasn’t clear that the CCC had the authority to amend the current casino licence. He added that there is no current enforcement action against IPI regarding the completion date.