CNMI judge orders cargo ship sale

4:41 pm on 10 January 2017

The U.S. District Court for the Northern Marianas has ordered the sale of controversial cargo ship M/V Luta, citing its expensive upkeep and the delay in securing its release.

Designated judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood approved the vessel's sale with a minimum bid amount of $US550,000 and ordered the US Marshal to sell the ship on 8 February.

Japanese investor Takahisa Yamamoto is suing Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog and the owner/operators of M/V Luta for allegedly refusing to pay back the $3.4 million that he put up for the vessel.

The defendants in the lawsuit have suggested that a sale would be unnecessary if the vessel were released into their custody.

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