Duterte signs amended anti-money laundering law

Philippines’ casinos will now be required to report cash transactions exceeding P5 million (US$98,300), after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) on Friday, local media reports.

The law, signed on July 14, stipulates that casinos, “including internet or ship-based” ones, will now be regarded as covered persons under AMLA.

Any casino cash transaction exceeding P5 million must now be reported to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

The law also authorizes the Court of Appeals (CA) to immediately issue a 20-day freeze order on monetary instruments and property which is in any way related to unlawful activity.

“I would like to thank the President for signing this into law right in time for the APG (Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering) meeting. Now that we have already complied with the guidelines, we are hopeful that the country will no longer be put in the blacklist,” said Senator Chiz Escudero in a statement on Wednesday, quoted by the Inquirer.

Escudero previously expressed his concern that the country risked being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), if the amendments did not take place.