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PNP-HPG renews public warning vs new modes of carnapping during yuletide season

THE Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group headed by Brigadier General Alexander C. Tagum yesterday warned the public a new to be wary of new modes of carnapping being used by organized car theft rings in Metro Manila and other parts of the country to steal motor vehicles and sell them to either witting or unwitting buyers this Yuletide Season

Alexander C. TagumThe official issued the public advisory as the PNP-HPG Special Operations Division-Task Force Limbas headed by Lieutenant Colonel Joel Manuel Ana smashed a group of organized car thieves in Metro Manila involved in different modus operandi over the past two weeks.

“Please watch out for motor vehicles being sold way beyond their prevailing market value since there will always be the possibility that they come from illegal sources. As a safety precaution, please check with us and the LTO the records of the 2nd-hand motor vehicle you will be buying to avoid losing your hard-earned savings to syndicates,” said Tagum.

Ana said that carnapping trend nowadays is very different from the old days as syndicates have created different modus operandi to steal vehicles and sell them.

They include the ‘Rent-Sangla,’ Pasalo-Benta,’ Labas-Case schemes as well as other fraudulent schemes to get motor vehicles from their consenting registered owners first.

“However, the public must know that the real intention of the syndicate is to get the SUV, wagon and car and dispose it for profit. They must realize that the car rental agreement or the ‘Assume Balance’ scheme is just a part of the syndicate’s ploy to get the vehicle,” Ana said.

The official said that car theft syndicates have also resorted to so-called ‘Budol-Budol’ scheme’ to entice unwitting victims to buy cars coming from illegal sources.

“The public should be warned. The HPG will always do its best to be persistent and efficient in pursuing these syndicates and criminals victimizing our countrymen to ensure the safety of the public,” said Tagum as he ordered SOD-Task Force Limbas and the 17 other Regional Highway Patrol Units to further intensify their campaign against carjacking, hijacking, highway robberies and wanted car thieves and other criminals in their areas of responsibility.

Tagum reported to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas the series of accomplishments scored by the HPG SOD-Task Force Limbas in line with their intensified anti-criminality operations.

Last December 2, SOD-Task Force Limbas and Regional Highway Patrol Unit-National Capital Region agents, with the help of members of the PNP Intelligence Group and the Caloocan City Police Station neutralized three armed car thieves following a shootout along Quirino Highway in North Caloocan, Caloocan City.

The suspects were on board a silver Mazda 3 with an illegally transferred plate no. XEL-583 when they were encountered by the HPG operatives. Recovered from the slain suspects were three chamber-loaded caliber .45 pistols, different sets of license plates, a map of their targets’ location and pictures and different identification cards they were using.

The Mazda Sedan used by the suspects who were reported to be members of a gun-for-hire syndicate turned to be a stolen vehicle.

The following day, SOD-Task Force Limbas agents arrested three persons involved in so-called ‘technical carnapping’ during an operation in Panay Avenue, Quezon City.

Makati City Pabakuna

The suspects identified as Hieu Phan alias ‘Mark Phan,’ a man involved in the buy-and-sell business, Cris Tutaan, a used-car sales agent and Henricson Olonan, a ‘fixer’ at the Land Transportation Office were arrested while conspiring to sell a white Toyota Innova with fake LTO registration papers to an undercover officer for P780,000 only.

Ana said that the wagon’s actual selling price is P1.4 million.

“Our attention was caught by a Facebook post from the suspects thru FB Market Place where they were offering to sell the Innova for P780,000 only which is way below its prevailing market price,” the official said.

Recovered from the suspects were several purported original copies of LTO Certificate of Registration and Official Receipt which turned out to be all fake.

A silver Toyota Vios covered with fake LTO documents was also recovered by the HPG operatives from the suspects.

According to Ana, the suspects made significant revelations that they were selling motor vehicles with spurious documents and reportedly coming from their sources in the casino.

The trio also identified one alias ‘Primo Lee’ and one alias’ Jules’ as the persons allegedly providing them with fake LTO registration papers. “They revealed that a courier will just hand them over the fake OR/CR prior to the sale of the vehicles,” Ana said.

Ana said they are looking into reports that the suspects’ main source is connected to different casino financiers accepting motor vehicles as collaterals for their cash loans which they need to pay with a daily interest rate.

He added that the syndicate is involved in laundering illegally-acquired motor vehicles in casinos and disposing them with the help of 2nd-hand car stores and buy-and-sell markets.

Ana said follow-up operations resulted in the seizure of four other vehicles composed of a black Toyota Vios in Caba, La Union and a gray Nissan Almera, a silver Nissan NV350 van and a silver Honda RS in different parts of the metropolis.

On Tuesday last week, the official said they also arrested three other men identified as Jerome Diaz, a resident of San Mateo, Rizal; Rovick Rennen Moreno, of Pascual Compound, Parang, Marikina City; and Marco Angelo Dagdag, of Dulong Bayan 1 in San Mateo after they conspired to sell a gray Toyota Fortuner to an undercover agent in Q.C.

Ana said the SUV was previously sold by Mark Phan for P980,000 to a buyer from the province who returned it when the vehicle was not registered under his name.

The three suspects then acquired the Fortuner and tried to sell it way below it standard market value which aroused the suspicion of the HPG men. Ana said that Diaz yielded an unlicensed caliber 9mm pistol when arrested.

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Alfred P. Dalizon
Author of the ‘Mamang Pulis’ series and Crame Files | A Journal Group reporter since 1988 and recipient of dozens of national awards from the PNP/DILG/PDEA/DDB/NAPOLCOM and the private sector | Winner of two (2) prestigious Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) for Best Investigative Report | A Finalist for another CMMA Best Investigative Report | A 3-time Journal Group Employee and Top Reporter of the Year