18 Mar 2010

Marshalls hotel sale linked to possible residency scam

1:31 pm on 18 March 2010

A court battle over a hotel sale has uncovered a possible residency scam in the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands Social Security Administration is attempting to block the sale of the government-owned Marshall Islands Resort due to unpaid debts.

Our correspondent in the Marshall Islands, Giff Johnson, reports.

"The prospective buyer is proposing to couple sale of the rooms with a residency permit of some sort. Now the problem is, there's no such immigration status in the law, so as it currently stands any effort to offer residency permits, or whatever, to condominium buyers is illegal, so that's turned into an issue, and in fact once this became public the US embassy in Majuro weighed in and said it was very concerned about anything that would look like citizenship or passport sales by the Marshall Islands."

That's our correspondent, Giff Johnson.