Anti-Money Laundering Watchdog Adds The Philippines to its ‘Grey List’
The international agency that grades and examines the efforts of countries by helping them avoid money laundering has included the Philippines on the ‘grey list.’ The agency also recommends that the region increase its commitment at preventing financial crimes.
A GGRAsia report states that the steps taken by FATF (Financial Action Task Force) will make it hard for the state to attract international capital and investment sources.
The jurisdictions included on the ‘grey list’ can partner the laundering agency to boost their anti-money laundering regulations and submit progress reports to the agency three times a year.
The archipelagic state was on the blacklist of FATF’s non-compliant states for some years, starting from 2000. The nation was humiliated in 2016 when about $81 million was electronically laundered from the national bank of Bangladesh through metropolitan Manila’s Solaire Resort and Casino. This spurred the legislators to action, by ratifying the amendment of the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act in January. This Act states that companies with a POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) license and the game providers to a list of businesses required to follow stringent anti-money laundering rules.
According to reports published by the FATF, the Philippines have made remarkable progress on some recommended strategies to boost technical effectiveness and compliance since completing an evaluation in 2019, including the addressing of technical problems on specific financial regulations. However, the agency purportedly stated that the nation lacks adequate power when it comes to showing that proper anti-terrorism and money laundering rules were being implemented on casino operators.
The nation is increasingly becoming a gambling hub, with several gaming firms offering their services to Philippine players.
According to reports, the name of the country will be struck off the ‘grey list’ if it can show that there is proper implementation of some of its recommendations to boost its anti-money laundering protocols.
In response to the reports of FATF, the Anti-Money Laundering Council of the Philippines stated that the identification of its shortcomings would not result in the ‘imposition of countermeasures.’ The Council, however, reiterated its resolve to tackle financial crimes in the country. It stated that it would implement FATF’s recommendations ‘within the required timeframe’ with the hope that its name be struck off the grey list.