The AMLC and BIR Join Forces to Fight Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has partnered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to strengthen the government’s campaign against money laundering activities, terrorism financing and other unlawful financial activities in the country.

AMLC executive director Matthew David signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with BIR Commissioner Lilia Guillermo to promote and encourage cooperation and coordination to effectively prevent, control, detect, investigate and prosecute money laundering activities and terrorism financing.

Under the partnership, the country’s sole financial intelligence unit may enlist the assistance of the BIR in the detection and investigation of money laundering activities and other violations of Republic Act 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001, as amended.

The tie-up also covers terrorism financing and prosecution of offenders, particularly on the violation of Section 254 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997 or attempt to evade or defeat tax as a predicate offense to money laundering wherein the final assessment is in excess of P25 million.

According to the MOA, requests from the BIR should include an evaluation of the case under investigation and disclosure of all relevant information necessary for the AMLC to properly process the requests.

These include a description of the suspicious activities under analysis and the basis for the suspicion, as well as the details of the persons or companies involved and the transactions and the accounts used.

The requests should also include the information requested and the purpose for which it will be used, as well as the range of the period to be analyzed.

Furthermore, both parties also agreed to cooperate in the areas of information exchange and capacity building measures to enhance their capability in addressing the unlawful activities.

The Philippines Fails to Address Money Laundering Deficiencies, Remains on FATF Gray List

Last Friday, global dirty money watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) retained the Philippines in the gray list after the country failed to address strategic deficiencies in its regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

The Paris-based FATF decided to keep the Philippines, together with 22 other countries, in the list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring despite its high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to strengthen the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering/ combating of financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

The Philippines needs to improve its AML/CFT controls, according to the FATF.

The dirty money watchdog said the country still needs to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, by demonstrating that effective riskbased supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professionals (DNFBPs) is occurring and that supervisors are using AML/CFT controls to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets.

The FATF said the Philippines should also enhance and streamline law enforcement agencies’ access to beneficial ownership information and take steps to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date.

The Philippines, the watchdog added, should also demonstrate an increase in the use of financial intelligence and an increase in money laundering investigations and prosecutions in line with risk.

The Philippines should also demonstrate an increase in the identification, investigation and prosecution of terrorism financing cases, as well as enhance the effectiveness of the targeted financial sanctions framework for both terrorism financing and proliferation financing by demonstrating that DNFBPs understand their obligations.

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