Customs Official Arrested in Philippines
U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service Helps Locate Dario Sarimiento Tomas
Special agents from the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) located Dario Sarimiento Tomas in Pampanga, Philippines. DSS worked with Philippine officials to apprehend Tomas, who is wanted in South Korea on charges that he defrauded an individual there of more than $200,000. On Friday, October 8, Tomas was arrested by law enforcement officials from the Philippine National Bureau of Investigations and National Police.
Before fleeing to the Philippines, Tomas was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul as a Customs and Border Protection Officer in the Container Security Initiative. Tomas was terminated by Customs and Border Protection after he fled South Korea.
He is alleged to have swindled a South Korean woman into investing in a computer company that did not exist. The woman allegedly gave Tomas more than $200,000 in several cash installments. Investigators believe he fled to the Philippines on March 4 to avoid prosecution from U.S. and South Korean authorities.
“Diplomatic Security’s Regional Security Office in Seoul and Manila worked closely with our law enforcement counterparts in both countries to locate Tomas,” said Jeffrey W. Culver, Director of the Diplomatic Security Service. “This is an example of the unparalleled capability of Diplomatic Security to pursue, locate, and return fugitives.”
Tomas will be held in a Manila jail to await either an extradition to South Korea or deportation to the U.S. to face charges related to wire fraud and criminal forfeiture.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State's law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of 285 U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the U.S. Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. More information about the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security may be obtained at 2009-2017.state.gov/m/ds.