Philippines hopeful of exiting global money laundering ‘grey list’

January 2, 2024 - 4:01 PM
948
1000 cash
This undated file photo shows one thousand peso bills. (The STAR/Walter Bollozos/File Photo)

The Philippines is hopeful of being taken off the money laundering ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of this year, the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council said on Tuesday.

The FATF, an intergovernmental organisation combating money laundering and terrorism financing, added the Philippines to the list in June 2021 for several reasons, including risk of money laundering from casino junkets and lack of prosecution for terrorism funding cases.

The Philippines has yet to address several issues flagged by the FATF, Executive Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Matthew David, told a presidential palace press conference.

“The most challenging action item is terrorism financing prosecution. We need to file more terrorism financing cases,” he said.

The longer the Philippines is on the grey list, the higher chance it has of being downgraded to the black list, David said.

Being blacklisted by the FATF could result in more stringent requirements and higher transaction costs for millions of Filipinos living and working abroad who send billions of dollars to the Philippines in remittances.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

— Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor