Man arrested in CNMI for terror threat

9:00 am on 27 November 2020

Police on Saipan have arrested a man for allegedly threatening a shoot-out at a Northern Marianas Department of Labor office.

CNMI police car

CNMI police car Photo: Supplied

The office hosts a federal assistance programme for US workers who lost their jobs or have reduced hours due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Police charged Zaji Obatala Zajradhara with terroristic threatening, after a Labor employee he was on the phone with claimed he said had would go to their office and begin shooting if he had a gun.

Delay in Pandemic Unemployed Assistance payments have resulted in mounting frustration in the CNMI with the department earlier syaing they were trying their best to speed up disbursement of funds.

Labor Secretary Vicky Benavente said for an individual to threaten innocent staff who are simply doing their jobs, at a time leading to the holiday weekend was truly disappointing.

Zajradhara's alleged threat resulted in the Labor office going on lockdown. Zajradhara, previously named Steven Carl Farmer, is known for filing labor complaints against CNMI companies. At one point, the House of Representatives declared him "persona non grata."