LTO – the center of gravity of carnapping business

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) has been identified as the center of gravity of carjacking and car theft-related crimes. The collusion between corrupt and scalawag LTO officials and employees, the PNP Highway Patrol Group and car theft syndicates made the carjacking business flourish into a multi-billion-peso industry.

Until and unless LTO chief Virgie Torres does something to address the problem, carjacking won’t stop. Recently, government operatives twice made registration of two non-existent vehicles at the LTO head office in Quezon City and both efforts succeeded, making her look like a fool. The two transactions were had in less than 24 hours.

Car theft rings have made numerous innovations in their modus operandi, as they can now secure original ORs and CRs, stickers and car plates for high-end vehicles from P15,000 to 20,000 from some LTO offices before they steal vehicles.

Once they secure these LTO documents, the syndicate would then scout for their would-be victims. They know which car make and model to steal. Once they have snatched similar model vehicle based on their LTO-acquired documents, they could install them in minutes and later look for prospective buyers.

This is one of the main reasons why despite the vigorous anti-carnapping campaign launched by various law enforcement agencies last January, mainly due to the death of car dealers Venson Evangelista, Emerson Lozano and Ernani Sensil, other car theft rings who do no belong to the Dominguez Brothers car theft ring went on with their operation.

Why? They must make use of their “pre-paid” LTO-acquired “fake” registration papers that they will attach to newly-stolen vehicles. Otherwise, they will lose money.

In many instances, the now “registered” stolen vehicles are brought to Mindanao and the Visayas where they are being sold to some car black markets in Malaysia, Indonesia and other nearby Asean neighbor countries.

Even the data base of Stradcom, the information technology providers of LTO, had been infiltrated by the car theft rings, making it possible for them to alter and make records of registration of stolen cars legit.

DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said a joint team from DILG-DoJ anti-carnapping task force recently conducted a “controlled registration” of non-existent car at the LTO. And they were able to do so, complete with documents registered at Stradcom’s database “but there was really no car.”

Unless the DILG, the DoJ and the LTO take drastic steps to identify, weed out,  punish and prosecute certain LTO and PNP officials involved in carnapping, the operation of the likes of big-time syndicates like the Dominguez car theft ring from Bulacan would continue with their multi-million-peso business.


For feedback and comments, please email me at Romie A. Evangelista


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