PH faces blacklist if law won’t include casinos in AMLA coverage

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 06:03 PM October 03, 2016

THE Philippines might be blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) if  the  country fails to  include casinos in the  coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering  Act  (AMLA).

Julia Abad-Bacay, executive director of the Anti-Money Laundering  Council (AMLC), issued this warning after attending the budget hearing of the Senate committee on finance on Monday.


During the hearing, Bacay raised the need to  amend the law or come up with another legislation to include casinos in the AMLA coverage as a “high level mission” from the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) might visit  the Philippines late this year “to ensure that the Philippine efforts to have the casino sector included in the AMLA is being sustained.”

“So they want to make sure that a law will be  passed by the Philippine Congress ideally by next year,” she told the committee chaired by Senator Loren Legarda.


“I have to emphasize your honor that starting this time, I mean henceforth until next year we have to prepare for the next mutual evaluation of the Philippines which will be held in 2018.”

Bacay said the inclusion of the casino sector in the AMLA coverage would be one of the major items that would be looked into during the  said “mutual evaluation.”

Asked later after the hearing what would happen to the country if it fails to include the casino sector in the coverage, the AMLC official said:  “We might be placed back to the FATF’s black list… kasi it’s a major concern e, inclusion of casinos.”

Bacay then stressed the need for Congress to amend the law or pass a new law  by next year to avoid being  blacklisted  by the Paris-based antimoney-laundering watchdog FATF.

Also during the hearing, Legarda asked  how the government could ensure that the $81  Bangladesh bank heist would not  happen again in the future.

“That would require, your honor, strengthening, not just the AMLC capacity but also the capacity of other sectors, including the banking sector,” Bacay said.

There is also a need, she said, to enhance the capacity of other law enforcement authorities  in detecting the commission of the so-called “predicate crimes.”/rga


READ: Unsolved heist: Bangladesh funds

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