HPG: Bank employees working with car theft gangs

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Some unscrupulous employees of banking institutions are in cahoots with car theft syndicates involved in a “pasalo” scheme wherein a vehicle is purchased through a car loan using fictitious names, the police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) said yesterday.

HPG chief Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum made the statement after they found out that some of the stolen vehicles they recovered in the past months were bought through loans from banks using fake identities.

“The fictitious person’s bank loan was approved. Obviously, that is prohibited under normal procedure,” Tagum said in an interview.

The group’s modus operandi is to apply for car loans. They will then sell the vehicles to unsuspecting buyers at cheaper prices.

Tagum said they have one case where a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that costs around P2 million was sold at just P500,000.

The buyer was surprised upon learning the SUV was on their list of stolen vehicles after applying for a motor vehicle clearance at the HPG.

It only shows that members of car theft rings have people within banking institutions who will approve car loan applications even with questionable documents, Tagum said.

He urged bank officials to check their own people, who could be involved with car theft syndicates.

The HPG recovered at least 148 stolen vehicles since October, some of which were taken using the pasalo scheme.

Tagum said criminals have shifted to other methods of stealing vehicles instead of forcibly taking cars from their owners, which is riskier.

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