Car-theft groups operating in different parts of the country might have insiders or backers within banks leading them to scam their “clients” or victims, the transportation security unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
At a press briefing, Senior Insp. Jem Dellantes, deputy spokesman for the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG), said based on reports the unit had collated, car-theft groups might have cohorts inside financing and banking institutions.
“That is what we established if they have backers [within banks]because we must understand that there many agents in banks approaching us and offering us [car loans]and in respect to [the]bank, they want to get as many clients as they can,” Dellantes told reporters in Camp Crame.
According to him, the HPG are still waiting for more information to detrmine if there are indeed insiders; whether banks involved with the carnapping schemes are just careless or there are bank employees in cahoots with the suspects.
“We are waiting for our investigation [to be finished]so we can also have inputs from the investigation that the HPG has been conducting. Most probably, these banks are controlled by the suspects,” Dellantes said.
However, there are some banks that are going straight to the Department of Justice’s task force cracking down on car-theft suspects.
The PNP-HPG also reported that at least half of the 1,800 stolen vehicles have been recovered from car-theft syndicates in different regions in the country.
Dellantes said this type of operations originated from a small group conducting a rent-a-car scheme among their victims.
“They started with a small group but that small group is illegal per se because they do not have a clearance from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, franchising of the vehicles and other documents in running their businesses, but no one has filed a complaint about it,” he said.
Dellantes added that there were many persons who were attracted to invest with the group of car thieves coming to a point wherein everything was mismanaged with some vehicles not even fully paid and banks started complaining about the unpaid dues.
Earlier this year, PNP chief Ronald de la Rosa himself said that the modus operandi is perpetrated by car theft group leaders Tychicus Nambio and Rafaela Anunciation, whom he dubbed as the “big-time duo” who have been operating since 2007.
Dellantes said Anunciation the “top gun of carnappers” is the one behind the spread of car-theft incidents in the country.
He also revealed that a former “trusted employee” of Anunciation went directly to the HPG to provide information, which Dellantes said could solidify their investigation in tracking down the carnapping schemes.
The name of the person, however, was not disclosed for security reasons.
“Since the start of our investigation, [the trusted employee]went to us maybe three months ago to coordinate well with us. The essentials shared with us is how the group operates, how much vehicles are involved and [the person]provided us [with]documents proving there are a lot of cars involved,” Dellantes said.