The public is warned against crooked schemes victimizing buyers and sellers alike that involve auto vehicle loans in a mix of modes of deception.
MANILA — Car theft syndicates have a new racket, warns the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in a statement on Wednesday, 29 September, called “assume balance” or “pasalo” scheme or “pasalo-benta”.
The perpetrators of the modus target buyers who want to save money on vehicle purchases. In a parallel racket, they target sellers who need to transfer their loan liabilities to the buyer.
In the mix, the vehicle buyer, holding fake documents, will end up not owning one while the seller ends up defaulting on his loan, and the will be car repossessed by the bank.
“The original seller defaults on his auto loan and the car gets repossessed by the financial institution, leaving the end-buyer with nothing,” the central pointed out.
The banks, still holding the vehicles’ original certificates of registration from the Land Transportation Office and car dealers, may still recover them with the assistance of law enforcement agents by flagging vehicles or issuing alerts.
The BSP said “the buyer may not recover anything as he or she is holding falsified document.”
A memorandum had been sent out to all financial institutions to reinforce their conduct of customer identification and verification processes.
The central bank identified some other types of illegal activities involving cars: rent-tangay (selling of rented vehicle), rent-sangla (pawning of rented vehicle), loan accommodator or labas-casa schemes (where a person is paid to take out a car loan and run off with the vehicle).
It has taken into account similar warnings made by the Philippine National Police on syndicates acquiring high-end vehicles through loans by bogus means, including identity theft.
The BSP reminds banks to strictly observe anti-money laundering regulations, monitoring of customers and their transactions, reporting of any suspicious transactions. The banks are also required to continue training programs on anti-laundering, especially those related to accreditations or partnerships with car dealers. (RA/JuanManila)