Itinuturing na pinakamalaking money laundering activity sa bansa, pinaniniwalaang planado

admin   •   March 16, 2016   •   3707

Ang Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing sa  81-million US dollar money laundering activity. (ROSALIE COZ / UNTV News)

Ang Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing sa 81-million US dollar money laundering activity. (ROSALIE COZ / UNTV News)

PASAY CITY, Philippines — Ipinahayag ng chairman ng Senate Blue Ribbon Comittee na si Senador Teofisto Guingona III na planado ang 81-million US dollar money laundering activity kung saan sangkot ang isang dating bank manager ng Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation na si Maia Deguito.

“This was planned more than a year ago, it could have not been done by one person. It needed the cooperation of the banks, of a remittance company and what is clear is this could not probably not have happened if casinos are under AMLA law,” pahayag ni Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.

Samantala, mismong ang mga Bangladesh government official ang humingi ng assistance sa Senado upang tulungan silang mabawi at imbestigahan kung saan napunta at sino ang may kasalanan sa ilegal na paglipat ng salaping ninakaw sa kanila na nagkakahalaga ng 81 million US dollars mula sa account ng Bangladesh Central Bank na inilipat sa Pilipinas ng mga hacker sa Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation o RCBC, at inilabas sa bansa sa pamamagitan ng mga casino.

“But we would expect to get the complete information about whose those accounts are for and what happened to our money. Certainly, I think everyone knows, that part of it went to casinos and as far as we are concerned, these are our money and we need to get back our $81-M,” ani Bangladesh Ambassador John Gomes.

Subalit, dismayado ang Senado dahil walang nakuhang sagot ang mga mambabatas mula sa mga resource person dahil sa pag-iinvoke ng mga ito sa bank secrecy law partikular na sa RCBC Chief Executive Officer na si Lorenzo Tan.

Samantalang ang dating RCBC Jupiter Makati Branch Manager naman na si Maia Deguito ay iginigiit ang kaniyang karapatan laban sa self-incrimination dahil sa mga kasong isinampa na laban sa kaniya ng Anti-Money Laundering Council.

“I’m invoking my right to self-incrimination,” ani Maia Santos-Deguito, former RCBC Jupiter Makati branch manager.

“I’m sorry your honor, I cannot confirm nor deny this request specific to this transaction,” pahayag naman ni RCBC CEO Lorenzo Tan.

Ito ay sa kabila na fictitious o gawa-gawa lang ang mga account holder ng mga peso at dollar account sa RCBC kung saan idinaan ang ninakaw na salapi.

Subalit, iginiit naman ni Deguito na handa itong sabihin ang lahat ng kaniyang nalalaman sa isang executive session kung saan hindi maire-record ang kaniyang statement,

Binigyang-diin naman ni Lorenzo Tan na hindi na dumadaan sa chief executive officer na tulad niya ang pag-facilitate ng deposit, conversion at withdrawal transaction ng particular na peso at dollar accounts.

Ipinahayag ni Deguito na personal niyang kilala si Lorenzo Tan at ito pa ang nag-recruit sa kaniya sa RCBC subalit tahasan namang itinanggi ito ni Tan.

Sa imbestigasyon ng Senado, napunta ang converted remittance sa bank account ng isang junket operator na si Weikang Xu, at Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company at Bloomberry Hotels, Inc na pawang kabilang sa casino sector sa pamamagitan ng isang remittance company na Philrem.

Sinabi naman ni Philrem President Salud Bautista na si Deguito mismo ang nag-utos sa kaniyang i-deliver ang 600 milyong piso at 18 million dollars kay Weikang Xu subalit itinanggi naman ito ni Deguito.

“We were instructed to remit the funds to the other banks, and to deliver the cash, to the beneficiary.”

Napag-usapan din sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing ang pag-amyenda sa Anti-Money Laundering Act kung saan dapat nang isama sa sa hurisdiksyon ng batas ang casino sector upang maiwasang maulit ang money laundering sa mga casino.

“Whatever the standards are for reporting, ang importante rito dapat ma-cover ang casinos,” ani Sen. TG Guingona.

Muli namang itutuloy sa Huwebes ang Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing kaugnay ng money laundering activity na ito. (ROSALIE COZ / UNTV News)

AMLC issues freeze order on assets, funds related to NDFP

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has issued a freeze order on accounts and assets related to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) after the anti-terrorism council (ATC) designated it as a terrorist group.

“The AMLC issued Resolution No. TF-42, series of 2021 directing the issuance of Sanctions Freeze Order to take effect immediately against the National Democratic Front (NDF), also known as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), pursuant to its designation as terrorist by the ATC Resolution No. 21 dated June 23, and the freezing without delay of the following property or funds, including related accounts,” the AMLC said in a notice posted on its website.

The ATC earlier designated the NDF as a terror group, citing is as an “integral and inseparable part” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army since 1973.

The AMLC said the freeze order covers property or funds that are owned or controlled by the NDF, and its “not limited to those that are directly related or can be tied to a particular terrorist act, plot, or threat.”

Also covered are property or funds that are “wholly or jointly owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the NDF.”

Property or funds derived or generated from funds or other assets owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the NDF; and property or funds of persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the NDF, are also covered by the freeze order.

The AMLC said that any person, whether natural or juridical, including covered persons, private companies, government owned or controlled corporations, and government agencies and instrumentalities shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law pursuant to Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (TFPSA) if they are found:

  • Dealing directly or indirectly, in any way and by any means, with any property or fund that he knows or has reasonable ground to believe is owned or controlled by the NDF, also known as the NDFP, including funds derived or generated from property or funds owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the NDF

 

  • Making available any property or funds, or financial services or other related services to the NDF

“All covered persons are mandated to submit as Suspicious Transaction Report all previous transactions of the NDF, also known as the NDFP, within five days from effectivity of this order,” the AMLC said.

“All persons, organizations, associations or groups of persons whose property or funds are frozen, including related accounts are hereby informed that they may avail of the remedies under Republic Act No. 11479, otherwise known as Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations and under the TFPSA and its Implementing Rules and Regulations,” it added.

 

 

 

AMLC asked to submit report on efforts to remove Philippines from int’l grey list

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Thursday asked the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to provide the Senate a written report on efforts to strike the Philippines off the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.

“We expect a substantial update from the AMLC on the concrete steps and direction we are taking to ensure progress on our compliance,” Poe said in a statement.

The senator pointed out that Congress already did its part in resolving the technical deficiencies of the law by amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

“Passing the necessary amendments to the law is one of the requirements under the mutual evaluation report which was duly met,” said Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies.

She also stressed that the AMLA reforms are important in protecting the earnings of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“We should not make it difficult for our OFWs to send hard-earned money to their loved ones. They must be spared of undue costs and delays in their remittances,” she said.

“Higher remittance charges mean less sustenance for the families of OFWs, and a week of delay in receiving the money impacts on the ability of their dependents back home to make both ends meet,” she added. “OFW remittances always step in to buoy the local economy even in the middle of the pandemic.”

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), total money sent by Filipino migrant workers from January to April this year reached $9.9 billion. This is higher by 4.8 percent than the $9.4 billion remittance inflows in the same period last year.

The FATF, a Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog, earlier added the Philippines to its grey list or countries under increased monitoring.

Poe said the failure to implement enhanced due diligence measures could lead to higher interest rates and processing fees, which could impact on the ordinary Filipinos, including OFWs in sending their remittances.

The inclusion in the list does not automatically subject the Philippines to countermeasures, the AMLC earlier said. However, the country needs to substantially comply with the needed reforms within a given time frame to avert the financial sanctions.

“The government must ensure that those who are earning lawfully and legally are not inconvenienced. We cannot afford to deal with more financial challenges as we reel from the brunt of the pandemic,” Poe said.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, chairperson of the AMLC, earlier made a commitment to work with the FATF and the Asia Pacific Group toward the timely implementation of the action plans.

The country’s financial intelligence unit vowed to resolve the remaining strategic deficiencies, which are down to 18 from 70, to be stricken off the grey list.

Diokno said that the Philippines will make a report to the FATF on its progress three times a year starting this September, optimistic that the country will be taken off the grey list after completion of all action plans in two years.

PNP, AMLC ink info-sharing deal vs terror financing, money laundering

Robie de Guzman   •   February 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for their partnership in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing in the country.

Under the agreement signed on Monday (February 15), a PNP-AMLC Fusion Center will be established at the PNP National Headquarters where the two agencies can exchange information related to money laundering and terrorism financing activities.

PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas and AMLC executive director Mel Georgie Racela signed the accord that will fully operationalize the Fusion Center.

“The Fusion Center will serve as the information sharing hub between the PNP and the AMLC to efficiently exchange information and intelligence, maximize resources, streamline operations, and improve the ability of the PNP and the AMLC to fight money laundering, terrorist financing, and other crimes by merging data from a variety of sources,” Sinas said.

The PNP said the liaison office has been completed and ready for use. The building is set to be inaugurated this week.

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