Imperial Pacific wants US$10 million deposit back

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Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International (IPI) Holdings Limited is seeking to retrieve a deposit of US$10 million (MOP80.60 million) the company made with the Department of Public Lands (DPL) of the Marianas, the Saipan Tribune reported this week.
DPL Secretary Marianne Teregeyo confirmed IPI’s request, declining to provide further information on claims the matter has yet to be discussed with the department’s lawyers.
According to Teregeyo, the money was deposited in late 2016.
The money is said to have been deposited as a ‘good-faith advance’ from the casino operator to DPL in order to secure the lease of the Garapan property where the company’s casino has been constructed, the publication notes.
The DPL Secretary explained that IPI had deposited the additional US$10 million because IPI had requested “additional things from DPL” – the extra deposit would cover for DPL assuming “that risk,” the department’s Secretary was quoted as saying.
The Secretary added that she is set to meet IPI to discuss the latter’s request for releasing the security deposit for its public land lease in Garapan, which originally entailed IPI paying US$250,000, the Marianas Variety reported yesterday.
Teregeyo further clarified that deposits are not income for DPL, claiming they are remitted after an audit at the end of every fiscal year to determine the surplus that would be remitted to the Marianas Public Lands Trust (MPLT) fund.