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.