The FATG has said the Philippines needs to increase controls to mitigate the risks associated with junket operators.
The Philippines.- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Paris-based inter-governmental agency that monitors controls on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, has placed the Philippines back on its “grey list” of untrustworthy jurisdictions.
Despite new legislation in the Philippines, the FATF said the country needs to introduce more controls over risks associated with junket operators.
It praised the Philippines’ progress during the last months after President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law to strengthen anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations in February.
However, it said the country needs to take further measures in several areas:
- Demonstrating that supervisors are using AML/CFT controls to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets.
- Implementing the new registration requirements for Money or Value Transfer Services and applying sanctions to unregistered and illegal remittance operators.
- Demonstrating an increase in the use of financial intelligence and an increase in ML investigations and prosecutions in line with risk.
- Demonstrating an increase in the identification, investigation and prosecution of TF cases.
The European igaming hub of Malta has also been placed on the FATF grey list.
The FATF previously grey-listed the Philippines in 2000 for failing to address money-laundering issues. The country was removed from the list in 2005 after amending legislation.
Inclusion on the FATF’s “grey list” could push up costs for business and increase regulatory scrutiny.
The country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council said: “The mere identification of the Philippines as having ‘jurisdiction under increased monitoring’ with serious AML/CTF deficiencies does not automatically mean the imposition of countermeasures.
“It is only when the country fails to meet the deadlines will the FATF call on countries to impose countermeasures against the Philippines.”
In order to be removed from the grey list, the Philippines needs to implement the action plan recommended by FATF within the prescribed timeframe.