Director Dante Gierran of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has ordered bureau personnel to return vehicles recovered from a rent-a-car syndicate to their rightful owners.
A total of 256 vehicles are now in custody of the NBI regional office in Tagaytay City in Cavite province, south of Manila.
The NBI was given by the Department of Justice (DOJ) 15 working days to investigate and run after members of the syndicate only one of whom has been arrested.
The DOJ on Tuesday issued a lookout bulletin order (LBO) against three suspects in the rent-a-car scam that has victimized car owners from different parts of the country.
In a memorandum, DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to place suspects Ana Pamplona Borlon, Lea Constantino Rosales and Rafaela Anunciacion under an LBO.
Aguirre instructed BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to enforce the LBO and to see to it that all airports and seaports shall be alerted about the flight or travel of the suspects.
“I enjoin all our Immigration officers and everyone concerned to strictly discharge their duties. This ‘Rent-Tangay’ scam has victimized a lot of persons, let us bring those responsible to our courts so that justice will be served,” he said.
The “Rent-Tangay” is a racket where the suspects act as renters of private vehicles and pay an agreed amount of monthly rent.
The suspects will then pawn the rented vehicles to other persons and promptly disappear in a move akin to carting away (tangay in Filipino) the vehicles.
Scam victims last week sought audience with the DOJ during which it was learned that there are around 500 people who fell for the racket.
Some of the vehicles were recovered in southern Mindanao provinces such as Lanao del Sur and Tawi-Tawi.
Under the LBO, all Immigration officers are directed to immediately coordinate with the Office of the Secretary of the DOJ any attempt on the part of the three suspects to leave the Philippines, as well as with the NBI director information about the suspects.
All the latest information shall cover the aliases, date and place of birth, copy of passport and latest photo of the three suspects.
Aguirre also ordered the Justice department to obtain a warrant of arrest “if it should be found that there is probable cause to criminally charge the respondents.”
WITH JOMAR CANLAS