MANILA - The Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group is investigating a criminal syndicate behind a car loan scam that has victimized various individuals.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Senior Inspector Jem Delantes, PNP-HPG spokesperson, said they have already identified people involved in the scam based on the complaints of the victims.
"Marami po itong grupong ito. Magke-case build up kami at make-case conference kami ngayong araw para pag-aralang mabuti ang kasong ito at ma-file natin ng appropriate charges," said
He also noted that the scam does not necessarily fall under the crime of carjacking.
"Pinagaaralan pa. Nakikita namin na di po siya papasok sa bagong anti-carnapping law natin. Basically, estafa po ang mangyayari dito...di pa pasok sa elemento ng carnapping based sa current law natin ngayon," he said.
A TV Patrol report earlier identified a certain Eleanor Rosales as the culprit behind the car loan scam.
Authorities said Rosales would encourage people to get car loans while offering to pay for the down payment plus extra cash.
In exchange, Rosales would use the names of the victims to get car loans.
Once the cars are released, the owners of the cars would then turn over the vehicles to Rosales for a "rental" business for a monthly fee.
The vehicles, however, were sold to other owners for a lower fee - P200,000 for a sedan and P400,000-P600,000 for SUVs.
The original "owners" are now looking for Rosales, who is out on bail on previous carjacking charges, after the monthly "payments" dried up.
"Kumukuha sila ng mga potensiyal na tao na pwedeng magpalabas ng sasakyan, ilo-loan po. Aalukin nila itong ipasok sa kanilang rent-a-car business at pangangakuan na bibigyan ng monthly na bayad doon sa renta," Delantes said.
The PNP-HPG said the syndicate also has another group tasked to offer people to invest in the business with the promise of earning 15% interest in three months. As collateral, the syndicate leaves the car of their first victim with them.
Delantes said victims only report to their office after the syndicate fails to pay them for several months.
"Luckily, may GPS built-in yung mga sasakyan na yun, na-locate natin yung mga sasakyan," he said.
Delantes said the PNP-HPG has so far recovered 37 vehicles.
Among the syndicate's victims are policemen and mediamen, he said, while most of the vehicles were recovered in Metro Manila, in Region IV-A particularly in Cavite, Laguna and in Bulacan.
Delantes reminded the public to think twice if the offer is too good to be true.
"Huwag pong magtiwala sa mga promises na ibinibigay nila. Kasi ang mga sindikato ngayon matatalino po kaya huwag agad magtiwala sa mga taong ito kasi hindi natin alam kung ano ang background ng mga ito at hindi natin alam kung anong legal business nila," he said.