U.S. Government wants CNMI To Detain Accused In Illegal Employment Case

No bail requested for Chinese defendants as they are considered a flight risk

By Ferdie De La Torre 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, April 7, 2017) – The U.S. government wants three of six defendants in an illegal employment case be kept in jail while awaiting trial as they are considered flight risks and may leave the CNMI.

Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to continue detaining MCC International project manager Yuqing Zhao and Beilida Overseas (CNMI) Ltd.’s Xiufang Qi and Wencai Guo.

Qi and Guo are the alleged leaders of two groups of Chinese workers, most of them illegal workers assigned at the construction of the multi-million-dollar project of Imperial Pacific in Garapan.

MCC International is the construction contractor for Imperial Pacific. Beilida Overseas is a subcontractor of MCC. The Garapan offices of the two companies were searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week.

The detention hearing yesterday for Zhao was postponed to Tuesday at 3pm to give the U.S. Probation Office more time to investigate the background of the proposed third party custodian for the defendant.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona gave U.S. probation officer Gregory Arriola until Tuesday morning to submit his findings.

After the brief hearing, Zhao was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal. Attorney Colin Thompson is the private counsel for Zhao.

FBI arrested Zhao last Saturday.

Qi and Guo were stopped from leaving the CNMI at the Francisco C. Ada Saipan International Airport on Wednesday. The two were allegedly bound for China. It is not clear yet when the detention hearing for them will take place.

Zhao, Qi, and Guo were arrested on charges of unlawful employment of aliens and bringing in and harboring certain aliens. Separate complaints on similar charges were also filed against three others: Hui Lu, Hongwei Ma, and Pei Ruan.

Lu is president and director of Beilida Overseas. Ma claimed she is an employee of Marianas Enterprises Limited, but worked in the Beilida office, according to the FBI.

Saipan Tribune
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