Charges of car theft and falsification of public documents were filed Monday at the Negros Oriental prosecutor’s office in Dumaguete City against three suspects arrestedrecently in an entrapment and follow-up operation that resulted in the recovery of several vehicles, the Highway Patrol Group said yesterday.
HPG team leader Sr. Insp. Robelito Mariano identified the suspects as Raquel Etcubin of Lahug, Cebu; Jesus delos Reyes; and Aniceas Silorio, a barangay councilman of San Roque in San Jose, Negros Oriental.
The subject of the entrapment at the parking lot of Robinsons Mall here was a white Ford Ranger stolen in Capiz and driven by Silorio, delos Reyes and the alleged henchman, Etcubin on board. It was supposed to be delivered to a prospective buyer for the amount of P400,000. Unknown to them, they were transacting with a poseur buyer, Mariano said.
On the same night, the joint team from the regional intelligence unit of the Philippine National Police Regional Office 7 (PRO-7) and the Mandaue City Police station in Cebu province, the Dumaguete City police, Amlan police station, and the HPG were able to recover six other vehicles from individuals who had bought vehicles from the syndicate at very low prices, they were, one Hyundai EON, two KIA Picanto (all sold in Amlan); a Spin Chevrolet recovered from San Jose; and two Mitsubish Monteros, one of which was forcibly taken in Antipolo, Rizal from the registered owner Fatimah Macabantug in 2016. The unit was sold to a foreigner in Dumaguete for P500,000.
Two more units were recovered this past weekend, another KIA Picanto and a Toyota Vios.
Mariano said, the suspects belong to the Michael Cordero carnapping group operating in the whole of Visayas and Mindanao. The group is able to transport the vehicles from one province to another using fake documents allegedly produced in Iligan City but discrepancies were spotted after a thorough examination.
Mariano said the suspects themselves admitted during tactical interrogation that the documents were falsified.
He said he is coordinating with the team leader for the possibility of filing anti-fencing charges against the individuals who bought the units at low price.
He said they become part of the crime even if they insisted they were also victims, and want to recover their investments by executing affidavits as witnesses.
One of them is a barangay chief in Amlan, and another a retired bank employee who invested P700,000 of his retirement pay to become the financier of what has become a buy-and-sell business for vehicles sold to him at low prices by the syndicate through Silorio and delos Reyes.*PNA
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