More penalties for businesses snared in illegal drugs proposed in CNMI

3:13 pm on 23 December 2015

Legislators in the Northern Marianas are mulling over a bill which could see more severe penalties for businesses engaged in drug-related activities.

A member of the House of Representatives Edwin Propst wants businesses caught dabbling in illegal drugs to be fined a minimum of US$250,000 and have their business license revoked for a year.

He says the penalty would be separate from any criminal fines under the current law.

The bill comes after customs authorities found a second cache of methamphetamine or "ice" in a cargo container brought in by the Saipan cargo firm Sunleader.

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A haul of methamphetamine. Photo: CORBIS

Earlier this month customs found about two kilos of "ice" with a street value of around US$850,000 inside a a cargo container belonging to Sunleader during a routine inspection at the port.

Nearly five months earlier, a customs inspector detected "ice" in an air compressor in a container from Guangzhou, China, at the seaport warehouse.

The drugs found weighed 10-point-4 kilos and were worth between $3.2 million and $4.3 million.

The container where the compressor was found also belonged to Sunleader.