CNMI PORT DIRECTOR HAD STAKE IN FERRY PROPOSAL

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By Ulysses Torres Sabuco

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Feb. 4) - A member of the Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors is a shareholder of Island Transport Inc., which wanted to use Sugar Dock for a commercial ferry service, documents obtained by Variety show.

Benigno T. Fejeran, a friend of Gov. Juan N. Babauta, was appointed to CPA’s board last year.

Fejeran is president of Vimar Offshore Inc., which is involved in "marine services including carriage of cargo, marine consultancy, tonnage and salvage."

Fejeran’s Vimar Offshore is listed as one of the two shareholders of Islands Transport.

CPA backed Islands Transport’s proposal to dredge Sugar Dock for a new Saipan-Tinian ferry service, but due to public opposition, the ports authority later withdrew the dredging permit application.

On Jan. 27, CPA said Islands Transport would transfer its ferry investment to the Bahamas.

According to an annual corporation report filed with the CNMI government, Fejeran’s Vimar Offshore is a domestic corporation that holds 30,000 shares of Island Transport worth $30,000.

Sealease Ltd. owns 270,000 shares worth $270,000.

The officers of Sealease are Craig Symonette of the Bahamas, president; Stuart Ballantyne, a British national, vice president; and Robert Bracken, U.S. citizen, secretary/treasurer.

Fejeran’s Vimar Offshore and Islands Transport listed Saipan attorney Steven Pixley as their "registered agent."

Fejeran and Pixely did not return this reporter’s call yesterday while CPA Executive Director Carlos Salas was in a meeting. Variety’s calls were not returned.

Last week, CPA withdrew its application with the Coastal Resources Management and the Division of Environmental Quality for the dredging of Sugar Dock. CPA said it spent about $70,000 for the permitting process.

February 4, 2004

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

 

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