67 'hot cars' recovered-A A +A
Friday, June 1, 2012
THE Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) has recovered 67 stolen motor vehicles during the past six months anti-carnapping and interdiction operations in the country, an official said on Friday.
The recovery of the vehicles came following the series of successful anti-carnapping operations in western Visayas and northern Mindanao that led to the neutralization of the Manila-Bacolod-Cagayan de Oro connection of the notorious “Baktin” carnapping network, said Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, PNP-HPG director.
He said 12 utility vehicles, mostly stolen from Luzon, were recovered in Bohol during two weeks of anti-carnapping and interdiction operations in the island province.
Aside from Bohol, the stolen vehicles, mostly sport utility vehicles (SUV), commuter vans and sedans, were recovered in Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, and General Santos City.
Espina said the recovery of these “hot cars” in Bohol bolsters earlier assessment of the Highway Patrol that central Visayas is being used by the syndicate as a major transhipment point for processing and trafficking of stolen motor vehicles from Luzon.
He said the syndicates involves a network of armed carjackers who do the actual carnapping in Luzon; financiers who buy the freshly-stolen cars; transporters who deliver the stolen cars via the Philippine Nautical Highway to clandestine motorshops in Bacolod and Cebu; mechanics and craftsmen who do the tampering, repainting and detailing work to give stolen cars a new look; and a network of document forgers, facilitators and corrupt bureaucrats who manufacture official documents to give stolen cars a new identity before these are offered for sale by local used car dealers in Visayas and Mindanao.
Espina said a two-week intelligence project, dubbed "Case Operation Plan Inbox II," was launched in central Visayas by the HPG Intelligence Division and Regional Highway Patrol Unit 7. The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission provided assistance to the operating units in terms of coordination with other government agencies, and logistics support.
As early as the last quarter of 2011, he said that HPG operatives have reported sighting of several suspicious utility vehicles in Bohol, that upon verification with the Land Transportation Office, were discovered to be with dubious or highly irregular registration records, mostly with tampered engine and chassis numbers and license plates assigned to other motor vehicles.
Espina said the 12 recovered “hot cars” were mostly private SUVs such as Mitsubishi Pajero, Isuzu Crosswind; and Nissan Urvan used as public utility vehicles when intercepted.
He said that HPG and Crime Laboratory technicians are completing laboratory work on the tampered engine and chassis numbers to restore the cars’ original identification details and determine their rightful owners.
Some of the recovered SUVs were found to have been stolen in Metro Manila as far back as 2004 and 2005. (SDR/Sunnex)