Nov 232013


MANILA, Philippines – Police raided the Makati office of an online gambling billionaire, considered one of America’s most wanted, but failed to arrest him, an official has said.

Calvin Edward Ayre, a Canadian businessman, is facing illegal gambling charges in the US, said Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, chief of the Crime Investigation and Development Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR).

CIDG elements raided Ayre’s office around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at the 22nd floor of the Enterprise Tower.

Ayre, however, was not in his Makati office and Fajardo told that they have yet to confirm to Bureau of Immigration if Ayre has left the country.

He was said to have operated call centers or Business Process Outsourcing firms while taking illegal casino and sports bets from international clients.

Fajardo said in a phone interview that Ayre’s offices, two more at the RCBC building in Makati and Eton Building in Quezon City, were granted permits to operate by the Security Exchange Commission.

Ayre, who used the false name “Calvin Wilson” while in the country, was listed in the US Department of Homeland Security as most wanted for illegal gambling and money laundering charges.

The 52-year-old businessman is the founder of Bodog Entertainment Group, an online-based sports betting and casino games.

American business magazine Forbes said Bodog is one of the world’s biggest online gambling firms with total winnings of $100 million as of 2012.

Fajardo said the CIDG has seized gadgets and computer units the office used for taking illegal gambling bets.

The CIDG-NCR chief added that they were still waiting for the assistance of the Anti-Cybercrime Group to conduct the forensic investigation on the seized items.

He added that Ayre was also facing separate charges of rape and kidnapping for ransom in the country.

On February 22 last year, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland served Ayre an arrest warrant on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering.

According to early reports, aside from Ayre, also indicted were James Philip, David Ferguson and Derrick Maloney as fellow website operators.

A few days after, Ayre’s online gambling website was shut down by US Department of Justice and US Immigrations and Customs Reinforcement Homeland Security Investigations.

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Tags: Calvin Edward Ayre , Calvin Wilson , CIDG , Crime Investigation and Detection Group , online gambling , online gaming , Raids , Roberto Fajardo , sports betting

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