Money laundering amendment targets casinos, developers, traders | Inquirer News

Money laundering amendment targets casinos, developers, traders

Casinos, real estate developers and dealers of high-value items will have to report any cash transaction exceeding P500,000 or $10,000 to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to help stop any illegal fund transfers in the country.

That is, if Congress passes a proposed amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).


The Senate banks, financial and currencies committee will sponsor the amendment on the floor and start debates on it on Monday, committee chair Sen. Francis Escudero said.

Escudero has filed his committee report on the bill that seeks to amend the AMLA, or Republic Act no. 9160. Fifteen senators have signed the report.


Escudero said they aim to pass the Senate and House versions of the bill by the first quarter of 2017, ahead of the June deadline for the country to be compliant to the reporting requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global antimoney laundering and antiterrorism watchdog.

“We are up for review in June and if we are not compliant, (the FATF) might make it difficult for overseas Filipino workers (in) remitting their money here,” he said.

He said the FATF requires casinos to be one of the bodies that report cash transactions to the AMLC. Casinos were left out in the amendments in 2012.

Escudero’s committee said the other institutions also being required to report cash transactions were money services; business or money transfer companies; dealers of precious stones, jewels and metals, and real estate developers, brokers and sales agents.

“We are talking of dealers or those entities, like lawyers and accountants acting in behalf of clients whenever they receive cash for profit or gains, exceeding P500,000,” Escudero said.

“So if they do not want to be covered by the AMLA, then they should transact or act in behalf of their clients with checks, not cash. Then again, checks are already covered by the reportorial requirements of banks under AMLA,” he added.

Escudero expects the coverage of casinos as well as lawyers and accountants transacting money on behalf of their clients to be the contentious provisions of the proposed amendment.

He said the House counterpart bill was sponsored by Samar Rep. Ben Evardone.

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