Gov’t firms up dirty money reporting

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CASINOS are next in line for tightened reporting rules — BW FILE PHOTO

THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING Council (AMLC) has released new rules requiring banks and other covered firms to submit reports and alerts through the regulator’s online system within five days from its discovery.

In a statement, the state financial intelligence unit announced the adoption of the AMLC registration and reporting guidelines (ARRG) for financial institutions that will digitize submissions of alerts, analysis, investigation, and escalation of reports to the regulator.

The AMLC is tasked to track, investigate and recover ill-gotten wealth and combat terrorist financing.

The changes are outlined in Resolution No. 107, which takes off from the revised implementing rules finalized in 2016 and requires covered institutions to submit covered transaction reports (CTR) and suspicious transaction reports (STR) within five to 10 days from occurrence or discovery of suspected deals or incidents.

As a rule, covered entities must report to the AMLC any fund transfers amounting to more than P500,000 in a day. Suspicious transactions are those that appear out-of-pattern or unjustifiable compared to a person’s financial position, which may be taken as a potential case of unexplained wealth from illicit sources.

Under the ARRG, all reporting institutions are required to upload reports through AMLC’s online system, after logging on using unique 18-digit numbers assigned upon registration.

Covered firms should also put in place a STR chain spelling out the process of alerts, analysis and investigation that would determine whether a transaction would warrant being brought to the AMLC’s attention.

“The submission of CTRs beyond 12:01 a.m. of the day following the fifth working day from occurrence of the transaction shall be considered as non-submission of CTRs, and may be subject to appropriate administrative sanction,” the watchdog said.

The new platform also provides for the uploading of know-your-customer documents on the AMLC portal which may be used in tracing potential crimes such as kidnapping, drug trafficking or terrorist financing as the source of questioned wealth.

A separate facility will be created for casinos, the AMLC said, following the enactment of Republic Act No. 10927 last July. Casinos must regularly report single cash transactions worth more than P5 million as well as suspicious transactions to the AMLC.

“[T]he adoption of the ARRG should strengthen the tools available to the AMLC in its fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” Executive Director Mel Georgie B. Racela said in the statement, noting that the new system will accommodate a bigger number of reported transactions. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez

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