The White Van and the Green Van



In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority. This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute. When it is done with legal authority, it is often called arrest or imprisonment.[1]

In case of children, consent is not considered, especially if the child is too young to understand what is happening.

Speaking of kidnapping, the urban legend we're about to discuss is connected to it. Have you heard about the green van and the white van wandering in some part of Northern and Southern Luzon, and in Metro Manila with a purpose of kidnapping children of any age, then steal their internal organs out of their body? Well, I heard it often times when I lived once in Cavite. We were warned not to go out without any older companion together. Our Barangay Captain even ordered his Kagawads to post warnings in every poles where people can visibly see and read. They were roving every night just to make sure nothings going to happen.

I have read the horrible news from India about 19 children and woman in the slums of Nithari who were killed the same purpose with these green van and white van here in the Philippines.

There is a large demand for internal organs in the whole world, especially eyes, hearts and kidneys. They specially get it from children. Estimates indicate that at least one million children have been kidnapped and killed in the past 20 years for organs. A kidney or eyes can fetch up to US $10,000 and a heart could cost US $50,000 or more. Estimates further indicate that money laundering in this deadly trade accounts for up to 10% of the world’s GDP, or as much as US $5 trillion. As a result, the black market for children’s organs is expanding and more and more children are kidnapped and killed.[2] Like drug trafficking, organ trading can make you wealthy faster. That's why some people were finding a wise way of taking organs without being caught.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, victims are primarily from Asia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America and Africa, trafficking also takes place in developed countries. Those who take part in this trade make false promises about employment opportunities for the children and give money to the parents. Children are also stolen from orphanages, or handed over through a fake adoption process and killed for their organs. The intermediary may earn between US $50 and US $20,000 per child according to the source countries. In many cases, impoverished parents are sometimes persuaded to sell their children’s organs for as little as US $500.[2]

I can't believe what I'm reading. Unfortunately, all of it is happening.

By the way, did you know that organ trading in the Philippines is once legal, until March, 2008? The Philippine Information Agency, a branch of the government, promoted "all-inclusive" kidney transplant packages that retailed for roughly $25,000. Since instating the ban on organ selling, transplants have dropped from 1,046 in 2007, to 511 in 2010.[3]

Actually, there's only one country in the whole world where organ trading is legal, and it was Iran. In there country, kidney selling is legal and is also regulated.

Legend



[Taken from Internet:]

3 cases in San Pedro, Laguna already. Girls of any age getting kidnapped then returned dead with body organs missing like the heart, kidney, eyes. At pag binalik yung body, may pera sa loob ng katawan or tiyan, parang bayad sa nakuhang organ. My friend’s neighbor was a victim. Mag ingat sa mga walang pusong gumagawa nito here’s the friendster bulletin of my friend:
[There were three (3) cases of girls of any age being kidnapped in San Pedro, Laguna. Then, their bodies were returned with missing organs, such as heart, kidney, and eyes. As soon as the bodies were returned, a bunch of money is inserted inside of it - as if payment for the organs. My friend's neighbor was a victim of this. Beware of these heartless people. Here's the friendster bulliten of my friend:]

I just a talk to a reliable source that said that there this men dressed in doctor suits, driving a closed van, that would kidnap young girls, and lately any person of any age, and take their organs. And leave the dead body somewhere leaving money inside the victim’s body–as thank you payment for the organ.
[I talked to a reliable source. He told me that a group of men dressed in doctor's suit and driving a closed van kidnap young girls and, lately, even people of any age. They take their internal organs, and leave their dead bodies, with money inside, anywhere. The money represents payment and gratitude for organs taken.]

Meron na pong namatay sa San Pedro, grade 5 girl student, nakitang patay missing her kidney.
[There's a victim already in San Pedro, a grade 5 girl student, found dead with missing kidney.]

Meron naman po last week lang, nakaburol ngayon, grade 3 student sa Pacita, nakitang patay na kinuhaan ng mata at puso, at nag-iwan ng 50K sa loob ng katawan ng bata. Meron isang case sa Chrysanthemum Village, may nakuha silang isang batang babae pero natunugan ng isang tricycle driver, hinabol niya ang van, at sa huli, itinapon na lang ang bata sa bintana ng van. Naagapan.
[And last week, a grade 3 student of Pacita, was found dead whose eyes and heart are taken, and they left 50k (fifty thousand) inside her body. She is now lying in state. Another case was in Chrysanthemum Village, they abducted a young girl but a trycicle driver saw them. He chased the van and, in the end, the child was thrown out of the window. Prevented.]

At last week lang, meron dapat makukuhang dalawang babae sa may Reysal Supermarket, pero may nakakitang mga tambay, natulungan ang dalawa at hindi sila nakuha..Napag-alaman ko rin ho na may case na ganito sa Batangas at Manila. Konting ingat na lang ho san man kayo pumunta.
[And just last week, two girls should have been kidnapped in Reysal Supermarket, however people saw the kidnappers. Thus, the two were saved and not abducted. I also heard that there are similar cases in Batangas and Manila. So be careful wherever you go.]

Vehicle:
1. VXE 351 – Green Van
2. VMM 507 – White Van



[Taken from Internet:]

Kidnapping is rampant nowadays. Kidnappers usually asked ransom money from the parents of their victims. But lately, I was disturbed of the news about the kidnap victims whose internal organs were missing after they were found.

In Ibaan, Batangas four children were abducted. One of them were found with the pair of eyes missing and with Php 30,000 pesos on his/her mouth. Three were found with missing internal organs. There was also report in Tanauan, Batangas with a missing heart and Php 8,000 pesos on the hole of the victim’s chest. It’s really creepy.

Lately, there have been reports that the kidnappings is not only happening in Batangas. There were also similar incidents in Cavite and Laguna. Last Wednesday, March 5, my friend told me that there was a third year high school student (from a school in San Pedro, Laguna) was abducted on her way home. I still haven’t heard about what happened to the victim.

I heard that a syndicate is behind this kidnapping and they are selling the organs to the black market. Text messages and email messages has been circulating saying that a white van with plate no. VMM 507 is said to be the kidnappers van. In our place the cartographic sketch of the kidnapper and the plate no. of the vehicle used by the kidnapper were posted everywhere.

Residents in our area in Laguna were already afraid. Students going to school were now accompanied by their parents and yayas. It has been reported that the kidnappers where luring children going to and from school. Our school management even released a letter to parents to watch for their children when going to school and while playing outside their houses.

I appeal to our police to do something about this. This kind of horrific deeds should be taken seriously and investigate this matter.



About



As you notice, all of the above stories each recounts an identical incident of kidnapping. Children went missing; their dead bodies found dumped in roadsides; their organs are missing; and a bunch of money is placed in the mouth or stomach. Then, a green van and white van were seen roaming in Manila, Batangas, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Malabon, Valenzuela, and others, kidnapping children of ages from 3 to 16 years old, including both genders. The rumor spread, and the whole city or province found themselves in massive panic.

There was also a picture in Facebook.com that gave me a feeling of unwell and a want to puke. A little boy placed in a batya (tub) with visceras out of his body.

In addition, those entries above included the plate number of both white and green vans - VMM 507 for the former, and VXE 351 for the latter.

Actually, the urban legend has an identical foreign counterpart from Latin America. Almost the same story.

ABS-CBN, GMA, and TV5 featured this kind of story, but all answered similarly, THERE IS NO VAN WANDERING ANYWHERE TO KIDNAPPED CHILDREN. But whatever they say, people still believe that this exists. FOAF (Friend-of-a-friend) tale is obviously present here, influencing one person and another.

According to ABS-CBN SOCO, two children were almost kidnapped in Malabon and Valenzuela, and luckily both survived the abduction.

According to the 11-year-old (whose name is concealed for security), he was walking in Karuhatan, Valenzuela when two men wearing bonnets grabbed him and hauled him into a white van. When they reached Caloocan, the men parked the van and left him alone. That’s when he saw the opportunity to escape.

“Noong bumaba po sila, may nakita po akong bote sa baba tapos po binasag ko po ‘yong salamin,” Ian tells ABS-CBN SOCO. “Binuksan ko po tapos tumakbo na ako. Sumakay po ako ng jeep tapos bumaba po ako sa may overpass.” He then ran to his school and told his teachers what happened.
[When they all went out, I saw a bottle under me and I used it to break the glass (of the car). Ian tells ABS-CBN SOCO. I opened it (the car) then I ran away. I went on a ride with a jeep and I stopped in the overpass. He then ran to his school and told his teachers what happened.]

Ten days later, on March 14, 2011, a similar incident occurred in Panghulo, Malabon. Airah, not her real name, was on her way home when it all happened.

“Galing po kasi ako noon ng palengke,” Airah tells ABS-CBN SOCO. “Tapos noong malapit na po ako sa school, ‘yong van po, ‘pag mahina ‘yong lakad ko, mahina din po ‘yong takbo. ‘Pag tumakbo na po ako ng isang beses, bumilis na [rin] po ‘yong
[I was from the market that time, Airah tells ABS-CBN SOCO. Then when I was near the school, the van, whenever I walked slowly, it drove slowly as well. When I run faster, the van do the same.]

“Tapos noong huminto po ako, may tumalon pong lalaki,” she further adds. “Tumakbo na po ako tapos ‘yong lalaki pumasok po ulit sa van.”
[Then when I stopped, a guy jumped over me, she further adds. I ran, and the guy went back inside the van.]

. . . . . .

Ian and Airah were lucky. They escaped the attempted kidnapping.[4]


Authorities investigated the incident. There were 12 incidents of kidnapping in Malabon and 6 in Valensuela. All survived the incident. Mysteriously, why did all survived and no one were taken? The conclusion is that, a group of men might be using the urban legend just to scare people.

Documentary



This documentary by Jay Taruc of GMA Channel 7, tells the story of children kidnapped and killed.





Sources:
[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping
[2]http://www.aawsat.net/2007/01/article55263949
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_trade
[4]http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/current-affairs-programs/05/17/11/organs-sale
http://jhoyimperial.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/be-warned-fellow-filipino-kidnapping-for-organs-rampant/