On February 15, 2013, President Benigno S Aquino III signed into law RA no. 10365, An Act to Further Strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Law, Amending for the Purpose Sections 10 and 11 of Republic Act 9160 otherwise known as Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, to expand its covered institutions including money changers, real estate dealers, and jewelry dealers, and crimes for the government to strengthen its ability to prevent and prosecute money laundering. It took effect on March 7, 2013.
Essential features of the amendatory law are the following:
a.) Revision and expansion of Money laundering as a crime;
b.) Expansion of the definition of “covered institutions” now called “covered persons”;
c.) Increase in number of unlawful activities/predicated offenses to money laundering
Furthermore, AMLC is also pursuing the amendment of AMLA for the coverage of casino transactions to their jurisdiction.
- National Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee Sub-Committee on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (NALECC-SCAML/CFT)
The National Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (NALECC) established the Sub-Committee on Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (SCAML/CFT) to enhance the coordination and cooperation of all implementing agencies involved in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) spearheaded the establishment of Anti-Money Laundering Desks in law enforcement agencies and regulatory and supervising authorities. The purpose of this is to have these agencies serve as contact points in their jurisdictions for the prevention, detection and investigation of money laundering offenses.
- Joint Terrorism Financing Investigation Group (JTFIG)
JTFIG is conceptualized after a seminar on Counterterrorism Financial Investigation Course held at the PNP-Training Service (PNP-TS), Camp Crame, Quezon City last April 28 to May 2, 2015.
The group conducts regular meetings spearheaded by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), as anchored on their mandate provided by Republic Act Number 10168 otherwise known as “The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. Section 10, paragraph 2 of RA 10168 states that, “The AMLC may also enlist the assistance of any branch, department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned and -controlled corporations in undertaking measures to counter the financing of terrorism, which may include the use of its personnel, facilities and resources.” . It is attended by representatives from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), PNP-Intelligence Group (PNP-IG), PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG), PNP-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Law Enforcement and Security Integration Office (LESIO), and the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC).
The test case for the JTFIG is the trial of Khair and Borhan Mundos. The Mundos brothers allegedly considered as the finance officers of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) operating in Southern Mindanao. At present, the JTFIG obtained its first accomplishment with the issuance of court order for the freezing of accounts of Khair Mundos under the account name of Timoteo Silayan Rafael.
- Study Tour by the Financial Information Unit (FIU) of Nepal
On March 14-18, 2016, a delegation of Nepal including officials, regulators, investigators, and prosecutors, had a study tour of the AMLC and its Secretariat and other relevant agencies involved in the Philippines’ anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
The Philippines through its relevant government agencies shared legal and regulatory frameworks, investigative and prosecutorial tools including bank inquiry, asset freezing and civil forfeiture, FIU analytical process, regulation and supervision, and relationship with domestic and international stakeholders.
The following are the updates on Filing of Cases/Institution of Proceedings and Related Incidents from the AMLC:
1. Money Laundering and Related Cases
- Application for an Order allowing Bank Inquiry Cases
Eleven (11) applications were filed with the Court of Appeals in 2015, as compared to 2014 where twenty-seven (27) petitions were filed. There was a 59% decrease. All were granted and Bank Inquiry Orders were accordingly issued.
A total of fifteen (15) bank inquiry/examinations were conducted, eleven (11) of which were court-based inquiries and four (4) were made pursuant to Resolutions issued by the AMLC. A total of 3,391 bank accounts were examined.
- Petition for the Issuance of a Freeze Order
AMLC filed a total of eight (8) Petitions for Freeze Order; all were filed with the Court of Appeals. All Petitions were granted and Freeze Orders were accordingly issued.
There was a 1,004% increase amount of funds and properties subject of Petitions filed for 2015 with P 574 Million. There was only P 52 Million in 2014.
Out of the Eight (8) Freeze Orders issued, most significant is the Freeze Order issued against the funds and properties related to a huge graft and corruption case amounting to a total of Php481million and foreign currency amounting to approximately US$143thousand.
- Complaint for Money Laundering
Four (4) money laundering complaints were filed with the Department of Justice in 2015. In comparison, no money laundering case was filed in 2014. Said complaints are still pending.
Of the four (4) complaints filed, most significant is the one filed against individuals, who are alleged to have laundered the proceeds of drug trafficking.
The AMLC Secretariat conducted a total of two hundred twenty-six (226) lectures and seminars with 9,924 participants from various stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, the academe, private sector and other covered persons. The topics of these seminars include the following:
- Anti-Money Laundering Act, as amended, and its RIRRs;
- Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012;
- Rule on Civil Forfeiture, Asset Preservation and Freeze;
- Financial Investigation and ML/FT Typologies;
- BSP Circular No. 706 (Updated AML Rules and Regulations);
- AML Risk Rating System; and
- Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prevention Program.
- Trainings/Workshops for Law Enforcement Agencies
- AUSTRAC Regional Forum: Working Together to Combat Corruption and Money Laundering in High Risk Sectors
The forum aimed to enhance the regional understanding of the challenges associated with high risks sectors identified by the Financial Action Task Force, focusing on politically exposed persons, DNFBPs, and NPOs. The forum was designed to assist in the priorities of all participant-jurisdictions and ultimately seeks to enhance understanding and compliance with international AML and anti-corruption best practice. It also aims to enhance understanding on the parallel association between corruption and money laundering, as well as how to identify mechanisms to strengthen on-going coordination between FIUs and anti-corruption agencies.
Representatives from the Cambodia’s FIU and Anti-Corruption Authority, Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office and Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara Malaysia, Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat and Office of the Ombudsman participated in this forum
- Capability Enhancement to Monitor and Regulate the Flow of Funds for Terrorist Activities
Held on April 29-30, 2015 at Marriot Hotel, Cebu City. The event was attended by members of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) together with the country’s Financial Intelligence Units and Counter-Terrorism Unit as funded by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).
- National Advance Training Course on Countering the Financing of Terrorism
A series of training course participated by members of the law enforcement and FIUs.
- Recovering the Proceeds of Crime from Wildlife and Timber Crime Workshop (20-22 January 2015, Bangkok, Thailand)
- Course on Comprehensive Security Responses to Terrorism (10 February – 13 March2015, Honolulu, Hawaii)
- ASEAN Regional Supervision Workshop on AML/CFT (3-6 March 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
- Emerging Payments Systems Workshop (3-6 March 2015, Jakarta, Indonesia)
- Casino Crimes Workshop at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) (9-13 March 2015, Bangkok, Thailand)
- ASEAN Regional Prosecutors, Judges and Investigators Workshop (30 March – 3 April 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
- APG/ASEAN Regulatory/Supervisory Workshop (22 – 24 April, 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
- ASEAN Regional Supervision Workshop on AML/CFT (3-8 May 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
- 18th APG Annual Meeting and Forum on Technical Assistance and Training (13-17July 2015, Auckland, New Zealand)
- Deutsche Bundesbank’s Seminar on Combating Money Laundering (2-6 November 2015, Frankfurt, Germany)
- Asset Recovery Interagency Network - Asia Pacific (ARIN-AP) Annual General Meeting (2 – 5 November 2015, Sydney, Australia)
- APG Typologies and Capacity Building Workshop (16-20 November, 2015, Kathmandu, Nepal)
- Joint Australia/Indonesia Regional Counter-Terrorism & Terrorism Financing Summit (17-18 November 2015, Sydney, Australia)
- Terrorist Financing Investigation Workshop (Funded by Australian Government (8 December 2015, Seremban, Malaysia)
- Technical Assistance
In cooperation with the Australian Transaction and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Australia, the AMLC Secretariat co-organized the following trainings:
- Workshop on Corruption Vulnerabilities (24-26 February 2015, Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City)
The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
- To assess the corruption and money laundering vulnerabilities of high risk sectors in the Philippines;
- To identify the role of concerned government agencies in the investigation and prosecution of money laundering cases; and
- To develop administrative measures to address the identified corruption and money laundering vulnerabilities.
Representatives from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Civil Service Commission, Commission of Audit, Office of the Ombudsman and AMLC Secretariat, participated in the said workshop.
- Financial Action Task Force
The AMLC Secretariat reviewed the FATF-ICRG paper “Options for Revised ICRG Procedures” and provided inputs and comments thereto.
The AMLC Secretariat reviewed Discussion Paper on the FATF Terrorism Financing (TF) Fact Finding Initiative and provided answers to the questions posed by the APG Secretariat.
- FATF-ICRG Asia/Pacific-Regional Review Group
The AMLC Co-chaired the review of Implementation of FATF Action Plans of the six monitored jurisdictions under ICRG review – Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, DPRK, Lao PDR and Indonesia.
The Executive Director Chaired the On-site visit to Indonesia in March 2015 and facilitated the country’s exit from the FATF-ICRG review process.
The Executive Director highlighted the Philippine efforts on asset recovery when she addressed the plenary session of the 6th Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption in November 2015.
The Egmont Group, a global organization of 151 financial intelligence units (FIUs), seeks to provide a forum for international cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, especially in the areas of information exchange, training, and sharing of expertise.
The meetings conducted provided opportunities to discuss the continued development and implementation of AML/CFT initiatives.
- 23rd Plenary of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIU)
The Egmont Group of FIUs met in Bridgetown, Barbados June 7-12, 2015 to discuss the challenges faced by FIUs in combating money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorist financing; especially in the areas of international cooperation, information sharing and the improved development of financial intelligence. This year’s Plenary also represented the 20-year anniversary of the Egmont Group.
- Best Egmont Case Award (BECA) conferred to AMLC
In 2011, BECA was created by the Egmont Group to recognize successful cases from which member-FIUs can learn and to appreciate real-life examples of cases that have been successfully prosecuted and publicly reported.
The AMLC received the prestigious recognition during the 23rd Plenary. It demonstrates the effective cooperation of the Philippines with domestic and international law enforcement agencies.