The Philippines remains on FATF grey list

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has updated its grey list.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has updated its grey list.

Cambodia has been removed from the grey list but the Philippines needs to continue to work on implementing its action plan.

The Philippines.- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep the Philippines on its “grey list” of untrustworthy jurisdictions. Cambodia has been removed.

In its latest report, the anti-money laundering compliance watchdog acknowledged the Philippines‘ high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to improve the effectiveness of its AML measures. However, it said the Philippines must continue implementing its action plan to address strategic deficiencies. 

This requires demonstrating that adequate risk-based supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) is taking place and that AML/CFT controls are being used to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets. The Philippines must also enhance and streamline law enforcement agencies’ access to beneficial ownership information and ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date. 

Additionally, the country needs to increase the use of financial intelligence and investigate and prosecute money laundering cases in line with risk. There must also be an increase in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of terrorist financing cases. 

Finally, the effectiveness of targeted financial sanctions frameworks for terrorist financing by demonstrating that nonfinancial businesses and professions understand their obligations.

The FATF has acknowledged the progress that the Philippines has made across its action plan, but has pointed out that all deadlines have now expired and more work is needed. It said it “encourages the Philippines to continue to implement its action plan to address the above-mentioned strategic deficiencies as soon as possible.”

Cambodia removed from FATF grey list

Meanwhile, the international financial watchdog has removed Cambodia from the list. The country had been added in 2020.

The FATF said Cambodia had shown “significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime.” According to the FATF, Cambodia has successfully strengthened its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regime to fulfil its commitments under the action plan aimed at addressing the strategic deficiencies identified by the FATF. 

The country has been encouraged to continue working with the APG to maintain the improvements achieved in its AML/CFT system.

In recent months, Cambodia took action against illegal gaming. The government urged authorities to shut illegal gambling in cafes and shops and it also published a series of new guidelines for gambling businesses.

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