SINGAPORE - The news he got from Singapore on Saturday shocked him.
Mr Enrique Alvarez Delfin, 32, a pilot based in Qatar, was told by friends here that they heard he was "on the run from the police".
They had seen a report in Saturday's The Straits Times in which his estranged wife, a Bolivian, was interviewed..
The woman, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Alvarez, accused him of emptying out their joint bank account and taking antiques from her grandfather before leaving Singapore in February.
The money and items are said to be worth about US$50,000 (S$63,000).
He also assaulted her in January, breaking one of her ribs, she claimed.
But Mr Alvarez - a Singapore permanent resident also of Bolivian descent - is fighting back and has hired lawyer Gloria James to clear his name.
Speaking to The New Paper from Qatar on Monday, where he has been working for a commercial airline since April, he said: "I left Singapore legally to take up a job here after taking unpaid leave from my previous employer SIA that same month."
When contacted, police confirmed Mrs Alvarez did lodge three police reports against her husband between January and May this year.
The spokesman said Mr Alvarez - who is being investigated for criminal breach of trust and voluntarily causing hurt - has not responded to their queries.
Investigations are ongoing, she added.
However, TNP understands that Mr Alvarez left Singapore for his new job in Qatar in April, before police began its investigations.
Mr Alvarez says his lawyer is now in contact with the police here to assist with the investigations on his behalf.
He maintains that he is innocent.
"The account in question is my own account which became a joint account after we got married, as she insisted on it.
"I closed the account because I was leaving Singapore temporarily and also all her belongings were sent to Bolivia as she requested after she left in February," he claimed.
He also denied ever hitting his wife, whom he married in September last year.
The couple met in 1996 in Bolivia but were re-acquainted in May last year when they met in the US city of Miami.
They started dating and he invited her to Singapore. The couple got married several months later. But the marriage was rocky, claimed Mr Alvarez.
While Mrs Alvarez claimed he was violent towards her, he claimed it was the other way around.
He said the last straw came when they had a violent fight on Jan 29, in which he claimed he was hurt.
He said he did not make a police report because he did not want his wife to face police questioning. The couple separated soon after and Mrs Alvarez returned home to Bolivia in February.
A month after she left, Mr Alvarez received a demand through her lawyers in Miami asking him to pay US$25,000 for "attempted murder, domestic violence, psychological and emotional stress".
He refused to give in to her demands, the husband added.
Money for stress
When contacted, Mrs Alvarez - who now lives in Florida, US - confirms she made the demand "because my lawyer in the US said he needed to pay for all my medical bills and emotional stress".
The 34-year-old, who is unemployed, maintains that her version of the events are true.
Mrs Alvarez also denied she was using the media to shame her husband into giving in.
She said: "I already forgave him for whatever happened but I would just like him to face the authorities and face up to what he did to me."