17 Nov 2011

House OKs bill raising jail term for crimes against tourists in CNMI

8:46 am on 17 November 2011

The Northern Marianas House of Representatives has passed a bill increasing the minimum jail term for those who commit crimes against tourists or crimes committed within 1,000 feet of tourist sites.

The bill seeks to increase jail term for crimes in tourist sites to one-half the maximum allowable under the law or five years, whichever is more, without the possibility of parole.

It was introduced to deter crimes against tourists and comes after a spate of robberies-a total of five incidents last October-against foreign visitors.

The CNMI now solely depends on tourism to fuel its economy, after the demise of the garment industry, and lawmakers said addressing crimes should be a priority.