Philippines banks warned to work only with registered POGOs

The government has tightened controls on illegal POGOs.
The government has tightened controls on illegal POGOs.

The Central Bank of the Philippines has reminded banks and financial institutions to deal only with registered POGOs.

The Philippines.- A week after two Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) had their registrations revoked by the AMLC for failing to cooperate with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the Central Bank of the Philippines has issued a warning about unlicensed POGOs.

Chuchi Fonacier, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor, told Philstar that BSP-regulated financial institutions (BSFI) should strictly comply with the requirements for customer due diligence, continuous monitoring and suspicious transaction reporting. 

In February, POGOs were ordered to register for the electronic reporting system managed by the AMLC. The decision followed an amendment to the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 that includes real estate developers and brokers, and offshore gaming operators under the Act.

There are currently 41 POGOs operating in the Philippines.

The Philippines to punish officials who accepted bribes from POGOs

President Rodrigo Duterte has said he expects the Department of Justice (DOJ) to punish officials from the Bureau of Immigration who were involved in a bribery scandal related to POGO workers.

Some 43 immigration bureau officials are accused of allowing Chinese nationals who worked at POGOs to enter the country without undergoing checks in exchange for nearly PHP10,000. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said those involved haven’t been dismissed from service yet and have only been suspended.

Roque added: “The impact of Duterte’s message is that the DOJ should perform its mandate to ensure their dismissal as soon as possible. The bribery scheme is not acceptable. They must be fired.”

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