A NOTORIOUS leader of a major carnapping syndicate operating in Metro Manila was shot dead by police operatives in an operation in Makati City Monday morning.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) spokesman Rommel Miranda said Ivan Padilla, leader of the group that bear his name, succumbed to gunshot wound on the head at the Ospital ng Makati (Osmak).

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His companion, identified only as alias “Mark” was apprehended and is now undergoing tactical interrogation.

Miranda said operatives of the Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit-Anti-Carnapping Unit (RPIOU-ANCAR) lead by Superintendent Maristelo Manalo were conducting an operation along General Luna Street following a tip from an informer that the group is poised to strike again.

About 4:30 a.m., police operatives approached the suspects who were on board a stolen Toyota Vios. Instead of surrendering, the armed men refused to alight from the vehicle and opened fire on the law enforcers.

"Lumaban po sila kaya wala ng nagawa ang ating mga kapulisan,” Miranda said.

Police recovered from the suspect’s vehicle a caliber 38 revolver, a caliber 22 and a fragmentation grenade.

The NCRPO said the Padilla group is behind two high-profile carnapping incidents in Metro Manila including the incident at the Global City in Taguig where the Toyota Camry (ZLN-415) owned by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Roberto Romulo and the Toyota Innova (ZCE-378) of Japanese businessman Koji Hasegawa.

Authorities are also looking at the possible involvement of the group in the carjacking of the sports utility vehicle owned by the father of actor-model Derek Ramsay in Tagaytay City.

Last Friday, the NCRPO claimed to have neutralized Padilla's gang following the arrest of two of its members and the recovery of the two vehicles in Filinvest 2 Subdivision in Quezon City.

Arrested were Dale Alimagno (22) and Glenn del Castillo (31). Recovered from them were Romulo's Toyota Camry and Ramsay's black Volvo (ZAX-887). (AH/Sunnex)