POGOs have a month to register for anti-money laundering system

By Violeta Prockyte

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have a month to register for the electronic reporting system managed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

The deadline to register for the AMLC system is 16 March.

The new rule comes after an amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 was passed, including real estate developers and brokers, and offshore gaming operators as people covered by the Act.

The amendment reads: “These persons and entities are required to report covered and suspicious transactions to the AMLC within the period prescribed and for the threshold amount fixed by the law.

"Failure to register would mean failure to electronically file covered and suspicious transaction reports with the AMLC, which is a money laundering offence.”

According to the new regulation, violators with assets worth PHP50bn ($1bn) or more will face a maximum penalty of PHP5m and companies with assets worth PHP10m or less will be subjected to fines of PHP10,000-PHP500,000.

Pressure for the amendment came from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), based in Paris, when it forced the Philippines to tighten its anti-money laundering bill with the threat of blacklisting the country.

House speaker Lord Allan Velasco said: “The Philippines cannot afford to be in that list as it would further hurt the economy already struggling from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."

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