Made in China: Fake Saipan driver’s license


One of the three suspects in the shipment of $850,000 worth of methamphetamine or “ice” allegedly told investigators how they obtained a fictitious Saipan driver’s license in China, which they then used to pick up the contraband on Saipan.

In a statement filed in federal court, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Kirk F. Johns also disclosed how joint federal and local law enforcers investigated the discovery of 4.9 lbs of “ice” last Dec. 2 that led to the arrest of Xi Xuang, Shicheng Cai, and Zhaopeng Chen, all Chinese nationals.

A routine Customs inspection at the Port of Saipan of a 40-foot container from Guangzhou, China, resulted in the discovery of the “ice” hidden in three plastic bags in one of nine 5-gallon paint containers.

Johns said they found out during interviews that Huang and Cai arrived at the same time on Saipan from Shanghai, China, last Dec. 4, while Chen and his wife came to the island last Dec. 2.

According to Johns, Cai recounted that his friend, Huang, took him to get a fictitious Saipan driver’s license a couple of days prior to their trip to Saipan.

Cai allegedly disclosed that a woman created the fictitious driver’s license. He said he had no input on what information was on the driver’s license other than his date of birth and his picture.

Cai stated that he had never been to Saipan prior to this occasion, which investigators confirmed to be true.

Cai said it was Huang who coordinated the delivery of the paint from China. He said Huang was supposed to pay him $7,000 to $8,000 for helping him in the delivery.

He said Huang’s female friend picked them up at the Saipan airport and brought them to Summer Hotel where he and Huang stayed in one room.

Earlier that day, Huang drove Cai to a car rental and directed him (Cai) to rent a car. Huang gave Cai $250 for the car rental.

In China, Cai said, Huang instructed him to pick up the paint buckets and bring them to a cargo shipping agency for shipping from Fujian to Guangzhou and finally to Saipan.

He said upon picking up the paints on Saipan, Huang told him to separate one of the buckets that has the best handwriting on it. Cai said the bucket was stinky and the lids were not tight and he observed a white substance in it.

Johns said among the items seized from one of the vehicles involved was the fictitious Saipan driver’s license in the name of Cai Feng Xin.

Johns said Huang stated that he had come to Saipan to visit his mother, who lives on Tinian. Huang said Cai is his wife’s brother-in-law.

Huang said he did not know where Cai got his fake Saipan driver’s license. He also denied knowing where the buckets in Cai’s vehicle came from.

Chen stated that he arrived on Saipan last Dec. 2 and that his wife was waiting for him at the Sunshine Garden Hotel. Chen stated they had come to the island to shop for jewelry and for vacation.

Chen said Huang is his cousin’s son. He said he was supposed to pick up Huang at the airport in the morning of Dec. 4 but had overslept.

Chen also denied knowing where the paint buckets came from.

DEA agents served arrest warrants on Cai, Huang, and Chen on Monday after the U.S. government filed a complaint charging them in federal court with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute “ice.”

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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