2 US fugitives nabbed

June 21, 2010 9:48 pm 

MANILA, June 21 — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) scored another feat in its campaign against foreign fugitives with the arrest and deportation of two Americans who are both wanted in the US for being sex offenders.

In a report to BI Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, BI-Interpol unit chief Floro Balato Jr. identified the fugitives as Jeffrey Dana Pounders, 49, and Kenneth James Sweeney, 69.

Sweeney was deported recently aboard a Continental Airlines flight to Guam en route to the US mainland, where he is wanted to stand trial before a US district court in Florida.

He was indicted before the said court on charges of child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct.

On the other hand, Pounders, who is scheduled to be deported Wednesday, June 23, is the subject of an arrest warrant by a grand jury in Jeffferson County , Alabama .

Pounders was accused of child molestation for allegedly sexually abusing a child less than 13 years of age.

Balato said both fugitives were arrested by BI-Interpol agents on the strength of deportation warrants issued by Libanan.

It was Libanan who initiated the establishment of BI-Interpol in June last year to help foreign governments in locating and arresting their own wanted criminals who hid in the Philippines .

The BI board of commissioners earlier issued orders for their summary deportation after being informed that the US State Department had already revoked their passports, hence making them undocumented aliens.

Balato said the arrest and deportation of wanted US criminals hiding in the country were results of the close coordination between the bureau and the US embassy.

The duo’s arrest happened barely a week after the US Department of Justice through Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller III commended Libanan and members of the BI Interpol unit for their assistance in locating and apprehending US fugitives hiding in the country.

Records showed that BI-Interpol operatives were responsible for the arrest of some 20 American fugitives since 2009. (PNA) RMA/FMB

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