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Tip Leads to Arrest of Fugitive Accused of Bilking Illegal Aliens

March 3, 1991

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A man accused of extorting more than $100,000 from illegal aliens by impersonating an immigration official was arrested Saturday on a television viewer’s tip, authorities said.

Raul Alakaii, 49, who was living under the alias Victor Maldanado, had been a fugitive since October 1989, FBI agent Wayne Gilbert said.

Alakaii was arrested without incident at his Philadelphia home.

Fox Network’s ″America’s Most Wanted″ profiled Alakaii on Feb. 15 and received about 50 tips, said the show’s publicity director, Jack Breslin.

Gilbert said one of the tips led to the arrest.

From 1988 to 1989, Alakaii repeatedly approached illegal aliens in Hudson County, N.J., and demanded $3,000 in exchange for residency cards and other documents, the FBI said.

Since its debut in 1988, ″America’s Most Wanted″ has profiled 331 fugitives in 154 broadcasts. Police now have 204 fugitives in custody, 139 of them as a result of the show, Breslin said.

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