Over 100 persons, including members of the Commonwealth Casino Commission, are participating in a weeklong training at the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s in Garapan. The training’s topics include regulatory compliance and criminal investigations and enforcement in the gaming/casino industry.
The training, which kicked off on Monday, is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mariana Regional Fusion Center, and Nevada State Gaming Control Board. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is sponsoring the training.
Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and NMI, told participants yesterday that she informed Gov. Ralph DLG Torres a few months ago that federal partners want to support local stakeholders who are interested in having specialized training on investigations and enforcement in the gaming industry and in national security intelligence gathering.
“So this is our contribution,” said Limtiaco.
She noted that the Commonwealth Casino Commission “is here in full force.”
Limtiaco acknowledged participants from the CNMI Customs, Fire Department, Casino Commission, Department of Labor Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Finance’s Division of Tax and Revenue, Saipan and Rota Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections, FBI, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Public Auditor, Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission, and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Guam’s local and federal counterparts also joined the training via video-conference.
Torres, who delivered brief remarks yesterday, said it’s a rare opportunity for the CNMI, especially with this kind of specialized training.
“When you go out there, make sure that you practice what you learn out here and work with each other,” said the governor.
One of the trainers yesterday was James Taylor, the deputy chief of the special investigation and supports services section of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Enforcement Division.
Limtiaco said that Taylor’s topics will be specific to the casino industry. In an interview later, Limtiaco said this particular training is focused on topics that are specialized within the casino industry.
She said they have also a national security-related training.
“We are looking at areas involving everything pertaining to the Bank Secrecy Act, money laundering, financial crimes, national security, looking at overview of gaming regulations, organized criminal activity, and a host of other topics that will be shared with the attendees in an effort to increase their knowledge, their experience and skills,” she said.
Limtiaco said the training will teach participants how to effectively conduct their goals, responsibilities and duties.
“It is also our efforts to work as partners at both local and federal government levels. We are very pleased with the attendance,” she said.
Limtiaco pointed out that law enforcement and regulatory agencies from both local and federal levels are coming together, collaborating with each other, working with each other so that they can share information and be better equipped.
Torres said that gaming is one of new activities in the CNMI and that no one on the island has experience in the industry.
With this training, Torres believes that employees in the law enforcement as well as the casino commissioners are able now to identify certain activities and are more aware as to what kind of activities constitute a violation of regulations.
“Having the presenters from off-island who are very much qualified come here gives us the opportunity to know what to look for and how to do our work better,” Torres said.