A fugitive from the Philippines caused a stir on social media with a Facebook post detailing how he allegedly evaded airport authorities to sneak out of the country.
Christian “Xian” Gaza, who made local headlines two years ago with a stunt (asking an actress for a date using a billboard), has sparked controversy anew for claiming he has successfully duped immigration officials last year.
In his post, Gaza claims that he was able to leave the Philippines on September 30, 2018, despite having three standing warrants of arrest.
Gaza was found guilty of violating the Anti-Bouncing Check Law in June 2018 and was sentenced to five and a half years of imprisonment by the Malabon Metropolitan Trial Court.
Through a series of images, Gaza narrated how he made it on his flight to Hong Kong by using three plane tickets under his name.
According to Gaza, he used two “decoy” tickets for flights to Singapore and Taipei which he checked in online. When he arrived at 4:40 a.m. at NAIA Terminal 3, Gaza had prepared the three tickets booked for Singapore, Taipei, and Hong Kong.
“I waited until all the check-in counters of the HK flight to close so that I would not be included in the main passenger manifest,” Gaza wrote in Filipino.
“Around 5:10 a.m., I made a request to the other counter to just call for my name to be called out at the boarding gate via radio comm.”
“Now, I’ve completed stage 1, which is to check my decoy flights in and get my boarding pass after the counters closed. The most difficult part comes next, which is the immigration counter. This is where all my criminal records and all the shits under my name will pop-up.”
After filling up his departure card at around 5:25, he lined up at the immigration counter. At this time, the airline crew was already calling for Hong Kong-bound passengers to board the flight.
Since Gaza’s plan was to get on board the flight at the last minute, he remained in line.
Removing his face mask, Gaza approached an immigration officer and showed his passport and boarding pass.
The officer reportedly informed him that his name had “red flags,” referring to “three warrants of arrest, two bench warrants, and the execution of [imprisonment] sentence.”
Gaza claimed he told the officer that while he was aware of the situation, he was still legally permitted to fly anytime since he had no hold departure order and was not put on the watch list of the Department of Justice.
The immigration officer agreed but allegedly told him that she was still required to contact local authorities due to protocol.
He was already entering the boarding area when the final call for his flight was being made. By the time cops arrived, Gaza was already sitting at his designated seat on the plane.
Gaza also hid inside the comfort room and waited for the “cross-check” announcement to ensure that all ground personnel were outside and all doors were already closed.
He explained that he booked the decoy flights so that security would proceed in cross-checking them instead of his Hong Kong flight which he booked to leave earlier.
“Last month, I made a very big life decision. I needed to choose between accepting the conditional pardon deal in exchange for my services to NBI Anti-Fraud Division for 5 years with watch list and hold departure order or start my citizenship application to a Latin American country with the help of my Singaporean boss and leave my past behind in my country, the Philippines.”
“I chose the latter. A new identity, new citizenship, new passport, new life. Thank you for the 25 years of memories my dear beloved Philippines,” he added.
The post, titled “How to leave the Philippines with three existing arrest warrants and five-year jail term,” immediately went viral. The post generated thousands of reactions, shares, and comments from netizens who are either condemning his actions or expressing their admiration for pulling such an odd stunt.
In a follow-up post, Gaza reminded his followers that he is still a criminal evading the law who does not deserve to be praised.
“Don’t romanticize my bad deeds. Do not idolize me because I don’t deserve it. however one views it, I am still a criminal who evaded the law.”
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration has since dismissed Gaza’s claims as “preposterous” and warned others against attempting a similar stunt, Interaksyon reports.
“The story is preposterous, similar to other claims he made in the past,” Sandoval said.
“Booking numerous flights will not help evade police. Everything is recorded in our systems, with one click you’ll know which flight a person really took,” she added.
Sandoval said Gaza’s alleged conversation with an immigration officer did not happen. She explained that Gaza was able to leave the country simply because Gaza does not have an existing HDO or warrant of arrest in the first place.
“Since he had no derogatory record when he left, he was cleared for departure. It was quite uneventful and ordinary, really. No Hollywood-level storyline, just regular immigration clearance,” she was quoted as saying.
On Monday, Gaza posted a public apology to the Bureau of Immigration, stating that it was not his intention to tarnish the agency’s image with his post.
Featured image via Facebook/xiangaza