A British internet fraudster is to be deported from the Philippines after hiding out in the country for nearly three years.
Calvin Jason Ainsworth was arrested by the Bureau of Immigration’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) at his home in Banawa, Cebu City, the bureau announced today (Wednesday, June 6).
BI spokeswoman Dana Mengote said agents raided Ainsworth’s residence on Saturday (June 2). The fugitive’s brother, Jared William, who arrived in the Philippines with him, remains at large.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the 24-year-old was arrested at the request of the UK National Crime Agency. The Ainsworth brothers became fugitives after fleeing to the Philippines in September 2015, after they were released on bail by a British court.
“It was reported that they continued to profit from their online racket while in the Philippines as their victims’ money were laundered to them via money transfers by their cohorts in the UK,” he said.
According to UK newspaper the Express & Star, the brothers were part of a gang that conned hundreds of victims.
They would use plausible stories about why they were selling hi-tech gadgets at bargain prices. For example, one of the gang pretended to be deaf, and said he needed to raise money for his dog that was dying of cancer.
According to FSU chief Bobby Raquepo, the brothers may have amassed the equivalent of more than 28,000,000 pesos by selling non-existent goods on Facebook and Ebay.
The victims’ funds, which were paid via Paypal, were allegedly withdrawn or transferred to the bank accounts of the alleged fraudsters, he added.
“IP addresses, email accounts, phone numbers, and addresses used in the transactions were all traced to the Ainsworth brothers.”
The fraudster is now detained at the BI Detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, pending his deportation.