Gov’t strengthens fight vs money laundering

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    The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) have signed an accord beefing up the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, the DOF said in a statement yesterday.

    Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Mel Georgie Racela, AMLC secretariat executive director, have signed an updated memorandum of agreement (MOA) that aims to strengthen the cooperation and exchange of information between the two agencies in detecting, investigating and prosecuting persons suspected of money laundering, terrorism financing and other violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA), as amended, the DOF said.

    “This updated MOA underlines the unrelenting drive by the Duterte administration to flush out money launderers and terrorist financiers and stop the Philippine financial system from becoming a harbor for their nefarious activities along with other AMLA violations,” Dominguez said.

    Under the MOA, the Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS), which is the anti-corruption arm of the DOF, may request financial information from the AMLC to support its ongoing probe into suspected money laundering activities and other violations of the AMLA by officials and employees of the DOF and its attached agencies, including their family members.

    The RIPS is tasked to investigate allegations of corrupt practices of officials and employees of the DOF and all its agencies, such as the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and of Customs.

    In 2014, DOF and AMLC have signed a MOA on information-sharing and capacity building to facilitate the efficient investigation and prosecution of officials and employees of revenue-generating agencies who engage in smuggling as well as graft and corruption.

    The revised MOA further institutionalizes mechanisms for the efficient exchange of information, the DOF said.

    “As the country’s situation evolves, so does the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. This MOA represents another chapter of collaboration and information-sharing between the DOF and the AMLC,” Racela said.