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LTO advises buyers to check vehicle's history

CEBU, Philippines - Land Transportation Office regional director Raul Aguilos yesterday admitted that some carnapped vehicles may have been registered using spurious documents prompting him to warn the public to conduct background investigation of the vehicle that they intend to buy.

“A good buyer should not only buy vehicles because of its cheap price unless if they really know its background because there is a great possibility that said vehicles are carnapped,” Aguilos said.

Aguilos said that before he became LTO-7 director he received information about some stolen vehicles being registered here.

“Sa wala pa ko madistino dinhi dunay mga report nga may carnapped vehicles narehestro sa LTO ug kadtong mga tawo nga responsable gitaktak na sa serbisyo ug ang uban gipasakaan og kaso sa ilang nahimo,” Aguilos said.

Aguilos however assured that during his watch no single carnapped vehicle was registered in any LTO branches in Central Visayas.

He said carnapping syndicates will only be able to register stolen vehicles using spurious documents if some unscrupulous LTO personnel will connive with them.

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Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG)-7 director Felixberto Castillo said that one of the procedures in registering vehicles with the LTO is to secure an anti-carnapping clearance from them.

Before a clearance is issued, the HPG conducts a laboratory examination to determine if the engine and chassis numbers of the vehicle sought to be registered is not tampered. The procedure is called macro-etching.

If found that the serial numbers are tampered with, the engine or serial numbers that will crop up with the use of the special chemical, shall be encoded into the lists of carnapped vehicles nationwide.

At present, Castillo said, several vehicles are impounded at their office in Camp Sotero Cabahug after these were found to be carnapped from other parts of the country and were transported to Cebu City.

Senior Superintendent Louie Oppus, deputy regional director for operations, said carnapping of four-wheeled vehicles was not a major problem in Cebu City except for motorcycle stealing incidents.

Oppus also warned the buying public to be wary in buying second hand vehicles because these could be stolen. He said buying a stolen vehicle is a crime under the Presidential Decree 1612 otherwise known as the Anti-Fencing Law. (FREEMAN)

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