The Bureau of Immigration is deporting an American wanted in Alaska for abducting his two children and taking them to the Philippines.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said today (Thursday, July 25) that Leo James Chaplin, aged 60, is now detained at the BI’s Bicutan detention centre.
This follows his arrest last Friday on board his boat, which was moored at the Ocean View Yacht Club on Samal Island.
Mr Morente said Chaplin will be deported immediately as he had already been issued a deportation order by the BI board of commissioners in June last year for being an “undesirable and undocumented alien”.
“He is also the subject of an arrest warrant issued by a US district court in Alaska for international parental kidnapping,” he added.
Chaplin was reportedly accused of abducting his two adolescent children who he allegedly brought to the Philippines in November 2014 without their mother’s knowledge and consent.
According to the bureau’s fugitive search unit chief Bobby Raquepo, Chaplin last arrived in the country four years ago and had illegally stayed here since April 2017 when his working visa expired.
“He then went into hiding upon learning of the arrest warrant that was issued to him by the Alaska court,” he said.
A US federal law, the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 penalises the act of removing a child from the US or retaining a child outside the US with the intent to obstruct a parent’s custodial rights, or to attempt to do so. It is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Mr Raquepo also said that Chaplin can no longer return to the Philippines following his deportation as his name had been placed on the BI’s blacklist.
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