AMLC logs 400,000 suspicious transactions so far this year

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The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on Friday said the number of suspicious transaction reports has already reached 400,000 this year, as in online fraudulent transactions have increased during the pandemic.

“Currently our suspicious transaction reports are approximately 400,000. We reached the same number last year. For the entire year, approximately 400,000.  So yes, it’s been increasing,” AMLC Executive Director Mel Georgie B. Racela said in an online briefing on Friday.

Mr. Racela clarified not all of these reports are dirty money cases. He said only one in six of these suspicious transactions would be related to unlawful activities.

Suspicious transaction reports are filed with the AMLC when institutions see financial transactions that do not appear to be ordinary or could potentially be part of a dirty money scheme.

In its study regarding financial crime trends seen from January to April, the AMLC said suspicious transaction reports reached 104,138 from March 1 to April 24. The Luzon-wide lockdown began in mid-March. 

It noted the value of transactions linked to possible money mule accounts and unauthorized transactions such as phishing and card skimming reached P341 million. The study also noted suspicious transaction reports related to online sexual exploitation of children with an estimated value of P11.93 million were also filed during the period. — L.W.T.Noble