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Regulators team up to tackle dirty money

May 09. 2019
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FINANCIAL regulators in the Philippines have vowed closer cooperation to combat illicit funds and terrorist financing through the enhanced powers granted by Congress to the country’s anti-money laundering agency.

In particular, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), recently sealed a memorandum of agreement that renews their “firm commitment” to take on steps in addressing this crime.

BSP governor Benjamin Diokno, who also chairs the anti-money laundering body, and AMLC executive director Mel Georgie Racela signed the deal at the central bank recently.

The AMLC implements and enforces Republic Act No. 9160, also known as the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA)” and RA No. 10168 known as the “Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.”

“The AMLC ensures that the Philippines will not be used as a money laundering site for proceeds of any unlawful activity, and that the Philippines is secure from terrorism financing,” the central bank said in a statement.

“The AMLC, therefore, is empowered to investigate money laundering and terrorism financing; prosecute these crimes; and cause the confiscation of criminal proceeds.”

The AMLC also enforces compliance by covered persons with the provisions of the law, its implementing rules and regulations, and other AMLC issuances. The law authorises the council to impose administrative sanctions for their violations.

Pursuant to the New Central Bank Act, the BSP, on the other hand, exercises supervision over banks and quasi-banking operations of non-bank financial institutions. With the recent passage of its new charter, the BSP’s powers have now expanded to cover money service businesses, credit granting businesses and payment system operators.


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