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PH included in dirty money list anew

/ 05:14 AM June 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has again included the Philippines in its “grey list” of countries under increased monitoring because of its policies and laws on money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The FATF also included Haiti, South Sudan and Malta in the grey list, bringing to 22 the number of nations under increased monitoring by the intergovernmental watchdog, which was created in 1989.

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The FATF also removed Ghana from its grey list and did not change its “blacklist” of countries that includes only Iran and North Korea.

Inclusion in the blacklist will result in economic sanctions from FATF’s 39 member countries, including restrictions on trade payments and financing as well as on currency remittances.

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On the other hand, inclusion in the grey list of “other monitored jurisdictions” usually means a country will have to substantially comply with recommended reforms within a given time frame before the imposition of financial sanctions.

“When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed time frames,” the FATF said in a statement from Paris on Friday.

18 action points

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which was created after the Philippines was first included in the FATF grey list in 2000, said in a statement on Saturday that the country had to address 18 action points to be removed from the list.

“Given the recent identification of the Philippines as ‘Jurisdiction under Increased Monitoring’ with serious antimoney laundering/counterterrorism financing deficiencies, the relevant government and law enforcement agencies’ sustained pledge to implement the 18 action plans within the prescribed timelines will be essential to the country’s removal from such list,” the AMLC statement read.

1st blacklisted in 2000

The AMLC emphasized that the Philippines will not yet be subjected to countermeasures.

“It is only when the country fails to meet the deadlines will the FATF call on countries to impose countermeasures against the Philippines. Hence, all government agencies involved should deliver expected outputs on the action plans pertaining to them,” the AMLC said, adding that the Philippines would have to submit progress reports to the FATF thrice a year.

The FATF first blacklisted the country as a “noncooperating country or territory” in 200o before it started releasing a “grey list” in 2012.

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After the creation of the AMLC through the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, or Republic Act No. 9160, the country was delisted in 2005.

It was again warned it would be blacklisted in 2012, but dodged being included after Congress passed RA 10168, or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.Earlier this year, the Philippines was again warned of being included in the grey list, but Congress again passed RA 11521, which strengthened the country’s antimoney laundering law on Jan. 29, only two days ahead of the FATF deadline.

But the International Monetary Fund warned in April that financial watchdogs remained wary of the conflict of interest between the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and policies against money laundering through casinos, one of the issues for which Malta was also grey listed.

—WITH REPORTS FROM AFP AND REUTERS
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TAGS: AMLC, dirty money, FATF, Financial Action Task Force, Money Laundering
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