Almost a year after making it in the headlines in 2017 for a viral “billboard coffee date invite” for actress Erich Gonzales, 24-year-old Xian Gaza made the news anew after being imprisoned over an alleged investment scam.
Gaza, whose real name is Christian Albert Gaza, surrendered to the police on Thursday after two warrants were issued against him.
Gaza, who earlier claimed to be a self-made businessman, said he had borrowed P3 million from at least two people, Jaime Asuncion and Melinda Cruz, according to a previous report. He allegedly asked them to invest in a coffee shop.
Gaza is now in Malabon City jail for his failed investment scam, but prior to being imprisoned, he shared that he was involved in several other networking scams.
In a recent post of his teenage photo, Gaza admitted he was implicated in several cases involving networking scams.
In the third person, he wrote: “A year before he became a brainwashed networker at the age of 14 and eventually chose the shady path of ‘scamming’ at the age of 18—receiving 47 [National Bureau of Investigation]/court subpoenas and 7 warrants of arrest to date until he finally liberated himself from the indoctrination that enslaved him a decade ago.”
Interaksyon made a cursory check on the scamming allegations against Gaza that he himself confessed and accusers exposed.
Here are some of the reasons why Gaza was a self-confessed “national scammer”:
Coffee shop scam
In his Facebook post in June last year, Gaza claimed he used to own a civet coffee plantation in Davao which he allegedly sold to a certain Gungxiqian group. His Facebook profile then claimed he was the president and chief executive officer of Gungxiqian group.
Gaza told Cruz, a potential investor, that his initial business partner, Asuncion, backed out from the business. Cruz then infused Gaza’s supposed coffee shop with P2 million. But Asuncion said he did not back out.
Asuncion similarly shelled out more than P1 million in investment for the café. Both he and Cruz were promised returns, but they said they were not paid properly.
Cruz said Gaza only paid her the interest for five months and offered her a house and lot in Bacoor, Cavite to compensate for the debt. But all this was not enough to pay back what he owed her.
Asuncion similarly paid at first, until Gaza allegedly disappeared and the payment agreement was brought to court.
Gaza faced two arrest warrants at Branch 56 and 120 of Malabon Metropolitan Trial Court for violating Republic Act 22 or an “act penalizing the making or drawing and issuance of a check without sufficient funds or credit and for other purposes.”
Gaza confessed that he took part in a money-making scheme through trading cryptocurrency.
Gaza made the admission in a December 2017 video. He said he met with syndicates and contributed P34 million from multiple investors.
The controversial Gaza claimed he was a victim himself in this scam, since his investments were siphoned from him.
Besides losing money, Gaza claimed the syndicates put up a P5-million bounty on his head, forcing him to flee from the country.
Multi-national money-laundering scam
Response to the arrest warrants against him, Gaza shared he was intercepted by InterPol last March 28. He claimed he was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 for his cases and an ongoing investigation on a HK$1.1 billion multinational money laundering case.
Gaza’s post was deleted but a screenshot was taken by netizens.
Jusco. “Xian Gaza, 24, Filipino, single, WANTED”
— Alex’s (@Kris__tala) April 10, 2018
“To the InterPol, I am very much willing to cooperate to any investigations with my alleged involvements. No need to intercept me between borders,” he wrote in the deleted Facebook post.
In a TV Patrol report, Gaza admitted he established a loaning firm in 2013. But it failed and buried him with debt.
T-shirt for charity scam
At the height of the viral coffee invite in 2017, social media personality Dewanie Kim Catapang exposed Gaza on Twitter and claimed he allegedly victimized influencers in Davao. She cited that she herself was among those who fell for his scam.
BTW, this guy is XIAN GAZA everyone! I know this guy personally coz I worked for him once and he scammed us all! Hahaha https://t.co/zAdxhjJiMS
— DEWANIE KIM ♥️ (@waniedoo) July 4, 2017
Catapang shared how Gaza claimed he works for various companies to get close to celebrities and swindle people.
She was allegedly invited to work for his supposed charity project by selling T-shirts which turned out to be a fraud. Catapang was also asked to work on a project without getting paid.
Gaza, now in jail, said he now regrets his decisions and vowed to change his life.
“Maybe we could stop the unending cycle of scams which are all executed by former networkers—a very sad reality. Maybe we could stop another Xian Gaza being created by the industry every hour,” Gaza said.
To get out of prison he is asking his friends and supporters a financial aid of P160,000, the amount of his bail. The bail set by the court, however, was only P126,000.
Prior to his surrender, Gaza posted that he is selling “Nyeam” shirt in exchange of P950 donation to fund his bail. He popularized the expression “nyeam” when he posted a clip of himself traveling abroad.
“My bail grant is at P95,000 I don’t have money so I need a little help guys. P950 donation—limited nyeam shirt,” Gaza wrote in a deleted post last Wednesday. He added a hashtag #BailOutNyeam.
Despite the numerous scam allegations he is facing, Gaza is still smiling behind bars and posing for the cameras with a double peace sign. — Video by STAR/Mark Jayson Cayabyab