After about seven and a half hours of combing through the office of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres last Thursday, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended their search in the afternoon.
And with the lack of FBI statements that is typical of ongoing investigations, it was not immediately confirmed if the search, as authorized by several warrants, included any interrogations.
Torres’ chief of staff, Angel Demapan, who is also the acting press secretary, told Saipan Tribune over the weekend that the FBI’s search ended at about 4:30pm last Thursday. The FBI agents reportedly appeared at Torres’ office as early as 9am that day.
“The execution of the search warrant at the Office of the Governor was concluded at the close of business, or approximately 4:30pm on Thursday, at which time the bureau turned over the premises back to the [Torres] administration,” Demapan told Saipan Tribune. “To my knowledge, I’m not aware of any interviews that may or may not have been conducted.”
Demapan also denied rumors that Torres had left the island.
Agents of the FBI fanned out across Saipan last Thursday to execute several search warrants that included the Governor’s Office, the office of Alfred Yue of Marianas Consultancy Services LLC, a consultant for Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC; Legend Realty Saipan; and the Torres Brothers’ law office. Even Torres’ home and vehicle were reportedly searched.
“We have provided them with all the information and access that they have asked for, with the intent of being completely transparent and helpful in the investigation,” Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios noted in a press conference Thursday afternoon, during which he affirmed that the FBI was searching Torres’ office but did not specify the reason.
An IPI statement released late Thursday said: “First, our companies have nothing to hide and will cooperate with law enforcement authorities. Secondly, we want assure the people of the CNMI that we continue to be law abiding and good corporate citizens who are proud and privileged to be members of the CNMI. Finally, we want assure our employees, their families, vendors, patrons, and residents alike that our companies are intent on succeeding and making the CNMI the jewel of the Pacific for our emerging gaming industry.”