DAVAO CITY -- Carnapping syndicate leader Ryan Cain “Baktin” Yu is no longer in the Philippines and can now be hiding anywhere in Asia, a top city official said Sunday.
Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said in his Sunday television program “Gikan sa Masa para sa Masa” that Yu flew off to Thailand earlier this month.
The vice mayor said they were furnished by the Thailand authorities a picture of Yu taken while passing through its Immigration bureau.
Duterte and those who want to put an end to Yu’s carnapping activities are raising a separate bounty, which is $20,000 for Yu’s arrest, dead or alive.
Duterte said it is most likely that Yu was warned by his contacts in the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) or some other law enforcement agency that he works with.
"When the police and the HPG started to conduct raids, Baktin (Yu) was alerted. At that time he was in Manila. So he bought a ticket to Thailand. But there was no order to apprehend him yet so he was able to go out," Duterte said.
"Three days after he left, we confirmed from the Thailand police that indeed he was there as they have a picture of Baktin. He was scheduled to fly back to the Philippines last November 6, so we waited for him. Apparently, he cancelled his flight," Duterte added.
He said they are also closely monitoring the movements of one police officer whom they have identified to have ties with the syndicate leader.
The vice mayor said Yu could now be anywhere in Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Hong Kong, or China.
"Basta isa lang talaga ang masigurado ko, pag bumalik yan siya dito sa Davao, tapos talaga sya," Duterte said.
The vice mayor initially offered a P5-million reward for the literal head of Yu. This was later raised to P6 million.
"You can cut his head off, put it in the ice to preserve it and present it before me before you can get the five million pesos reward," Duterte said in a press conference last month.
Yu alive will carry the bounty of only P2 million, Duterte said. Yu dead will get P4 million, while the head of Yu on ice will get P5 million.
The reward is for those who can arrest him - even the communist rebel group New People’s Army and the armed forces of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or any well-meaning armed civilians.
The amount was raised by all those whom Yu had victimized, the vice mayor said, including a car dealer whose operations was tarnished by Yu.
HPG chief Superintendent Gregorio Pimentel branded the Baktin Carnap Group as the most notorious in Mindanao. He said that 90 percent of carnapping incidents in the Davao Region have been perpetrated by the group.
Pimentel said the Baktin Group is so efficient that they can carnap a vehicle in less than a minute.
Proof to this is the CCTV footage in Tagum City where a Baktin member was seen stealing a parked vehicle in only a matter of seconds.
Pimentel said the group has links with other carnap syndicates in Cebu, which he identified as the group of Jovel Entote. He added that Entote was arrested by the authorities two months ago and is now incarcerated.
Another member identified as Cocoy Dalugdog is also behind bars now. Pimentel said the only remaining members of the syndicate who are still free are Yu and one Mark Lester Reyes.
Pimentel admitted they had a hard time implicating Yu in the illegal activity since his name never surfaced in any paper trails they gathered. He said most of those charged in the past are the buyers of carnapped vehicles because their names appear in the obtained documents. (With report from BOT of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)