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Philippines still included in global AML “grey list”

February 26, 2024 Crime & Legal

The Philippines has worked to improve its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) framework, but these efforts haven’t been enough to get the country off the global “grey list” of nations receiving more scrutiny.

Following its last plenary meeting in Paris, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released this update, emphasizing the need for the Philippines to demonstrate the effective application of AML/CFT measures, particularly in view of the risks connected to casino junkets.

The Philippines hopes to fulfill all requirements for removal by the end of 2021, despite being placed on the grey list in June of that year.

In order to accomplish this goal, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued a Memorandum Circular late last year requesting 44 government agencies—among them the gaming regulator PAGCOR—to assess and evaluate their requirements and take the necessary actions.

By identifying and looking into cases of terrorist financing, the Philippines has reportedly strengthened its AML/CFT system, according to the FATF.

In order to address strategic deficiencies, it must still carry out its action plan, which includes enhancing risk-based supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), reducing the risks connected to casino junkets, enhancing law enforcement’s access to beneficial owner data, and stepping up investigations and prosecutions related to money laundering and terrorism financing.

FATF recommended the Philippines to carry out its action plan as quickly as feasible, pointing out that by January 2023 all deadlines had passed. Executive Director of the Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat Matthew M. David commended the government’s efforts in response to the FATF report, but he also emphasized the need for interagency cooperation.

Vietnam has extended the deadline for reporting on its progress toward meeting requirements, therefore it is still listed as being on the grey list. Although Vietnam has made progress, including joining the Asset Recovery Interagency Network Asia Pacific and putting in place a national action plan on AML/CFT/CPF, it still works with FATF to resolve strategic deficiencies.

Enhanced surveillance jurisdictions, including those on the grey list, actively collaborate with the FATF to promptly address detected vulnerabilities and are scrutinized more closely until they are fixed.

Original story by: IAG

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