2 Jul 2013

CNMI authorities blame communications breakdown for Buckingham incident

1:34 pm on 2 July 2013

A newly-released report in the Northern Marianas blames a communications breakdown, lack of proper protocols and inadequate training for authorities failing to detain a former attorney general, despite his high-profile as a wanted fugitive.

The report, by the current attorney general Joey Patrick San Nicolas, was ordered after Edward Buckingham passed through Saipan Airport undetected when he returned to the territory in May.

He arrived from the US state of Colorado, where he was arrested on charges filed by the CNMI's Office of the Public Auditor.

The Saipan Tribune reports Mr San Nicolas as saying he doesn't believe the incident was intentional, but law enforcement agencies have learned their lessons as a result.

He says the incident prompted the implementation of proper protocols, new training and improved interagency communication.

Mr San Nicolas says agencies have been put on notice and he hopes there won't be a repeat of the incident when others with outstanding warrants, such as a former governor Benigno Fitial, return to the CNMI.