Xian Gaza and the art of the con

"Is it time for a movie?"


“A THREAD: "PAANO LUMABAS NG BANSANG PILIPINAS NG MAY TATLONG WARRANTS OF ARREST AT LIMANG TAONG SENTENSIYA" Warning: The following heart-pumping storyline thread are based on real life events of yours truly Christian Albert Gaza on 30th of September year 2018.”

So begins the viral post of Xian S. Gaza, self-confessed swindler and conman, about his escape from the country and successful evasion of arrest warrants and an imprisonment sentence.

In June 2018, the Malabon Metropolitan Trial Court convicted Gaza for 11 counts of violating the Bouncing Check law and sentenced him to five years and six months.

Gaza posted the viral thread last April 7. As of presstime, it has over 19,000  likes, 12,000 comments, and 33,000 shares.

He recounts booking three different flights—two of them decoys and getting away on the third. He says he was warned by a Bureau of Immigration employee that upon passing her booth, airport security and police would be sent to arrest him.

Gaza says he evaded them by hiding in a restroom and staying there until his name was called for his flight.

The BI scoffed at his story that “sounds like it was taken straight out of an action movie… but sadly it’s not what actually happened,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said last week.

“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,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval said the BI might take action against Gaza. “Stunts like this using the Bureau to gain fame and stay relevant are a security risk,” she said.

“He is making a mockery of our airport procedures for attention.”

Gaza apologized to the BI for his ‘revelation’ and insisted that his claims were—true. Whatever actually happened, Gaza got his 15 minutes of fame and more. He revels in his notoriety, milking his adventures for attention by regularly posting updates on social media.

He claims he fled the country to find a way to pay back his victims: “Kung magpapakulong ako ng limang taon para sa isang complainant at mababayaran ko ang 32M na utang ko habang nasa loob ng kulungan eh eto na susuko na po ako ngayon na.

“Kaso hindi... lalong walang mangyayari sa buhay ko at hindi ako makakagawa ng paraan para lahat sila'y mabayaran in time.”

Can he be trusted? He has shown time and again what an incredible liar he is. Conmen are incredibly persuasive. They leverage confidence—they are full of self-confidence, and they gain your confidence and trust, which they then abuse.

But unlike many other criminals, Gaza is self-aware. He responded to comments that he has a mental disorder by saying, “Yes, meron po matagal na. May retainer psychiatrist ako sa QC [Quezon City] near Trinoma since when I was 17.

“I am a SOCIOPATH. I have antisocial personality disorder simula bata pa lang ako. I received ASPD [anti-social personality disorder] diagnosis many times already.” He added that he cannot empathize with the feelings of others, which makes it easy for him to manipulate and deceive.  

He explains, “Sociopaths often break rules or make impulsive decisions without feeling guilty for the harm they cause. Malala yung case ko because I have five out of the seven traits ng isang taong may APSD.”

For all his faults, Xian’s larger-than-life narratives and witty repartee have gained him many followers on social media:

Karen Vera wrote: “Eto lang ata ung scammer na, imbis mbwesit ako sayo.. natutuwa ako. (smile emoji) NASCAMM MO RIN ATA ANG PUSO KO! (heart eyes emoji) (smile emoji)”

His recent status update shows Gaza in a trendy black suit with the caption, "Hulihin Niyo Ko Kung Kaya Niyo"—Main Character: XIAN S. GAZA. Some of the finest and trustworthy businessmen are slim yellowish chinitos in tuxedo. But not Xian, Xian will take all your life savings.”

Gaza is referring to ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ a film based on the life of super conman Frank W. Abagnale. While still a teen, he posed variously as a pilot, physician, lawyer, and college sociology professor, and scammed people of over $2.5 million in forged checks.

Is it time for a movie based on Xian’s shenanigans? Or do we give him a few more years to see what he does next?


Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. ~ aphorism / FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO

Topics: Jenny Ortuoste , Xian S. Gaza , swindler , conman
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