‘No derogatory record’: BI says on Yexel Sebastian, Mikee Agustin’s overseas travel amid scam complaints

October 10, 2023 - 12:44 PM
Yexel Sebastian and Mikee Agustin. (yexelsebastian/Instagram)

Yexel Sebastian and Mikee Agustin left for Japan on Monday amid being tagged in an alleged scam, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

In a Senate hearing on October 9, BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco confirmed their departure to Nagoya City in Japan based on the bureau’s records. Tansingco also said that no order was filed against them, thus barring their right to travel to another country.

“The two subjects have no hold departure orders. And in fact, they have no derogatory record based on our database,” the commissioner said.

Tansingco said this in response to an inquiry by Senator Raffy Tulfo who brought up reports about the couple’s alleged involvement in an investment scam.

Tulfo also expressed his worry that Sebastian and Agustin might have traveled to Japan to escape or recruit more victims.

“Hindi ko alam kung ito’y tumatakas na o baka pumunta sa Nagoya para mag-recruit na naman ng investors,” the senator said.

Tulfo asked if there was a way for the BI to stop them from leaving the country.

Tansingco, however, explained that only a court can issue a hold departure order to travelers.

“Other than a hold departure order that can be issued only by an RTC [regional trial court] upon a case filed, the DOJ can also issue an immigration lookout bulletin,” the commissioner replied.

“But there must be a complaint filed already with the prosecutor’s office or a precautionary hold,” he added.

A Facebook user named Priscilla LaFountain earlier appealed to Sebastian and Agustin to return her calls following a supposed investment deal.

LaFountain’s post soon spread across TikTok, multiple Facebook pages and on Reddit.

READ: Pinay appeals to Yexel Sebastian, Mikee Agustin on alleged investment deal: ‘Sana kausapin niyo kami’ 

Other Facebook posts later surfaced alleging that the two solicited money amounting to P200 million from them.

Several Filipinos, meanwhile, expressed dismay at this development, citing other local travelers’ trouble of getting past immigration officers.

“Awitized pag ordinary citizens, bilis ma-offload or ma-hold sa airport,” an X user said.

“When a regular Filipino tries to have a vacay abroad, they put them on hold,” another X user commented.

How Sebastian responded

On October 6, Sebastian posted a cryptic message on his Facebook account amid the circulating accusations against him and his partner.

“People wala pa kaming statement ha. Paalala lang. Ayaw ko lang bumalik sa inyo mga sinasabi niyo. Hindi niyo pa alam ang tunay na kwento,” his post reads.

Days later, following the Senate hearing where the couple’s names were mentioned, Sebastian defended himself and his family.

Here, he claimed that the business operations he and his family took part in were “legitimate.” He also accompanied his post with a video showing a ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place in April 2022.

“Legit ang junket. Legit lahat ang tao. Legit ang operation. Hindi yan mapepeke nang kahit sino dahil hindi ka magkaka branch sa isang Casino na legal, para magka Junket kung illegal ito,” the toy collector said.

“Yan ang pagkakaalam namin. Lahat ayon sa nakita ng mga mata namin nun panahon nayun,” he added.