BSP, anti-money laundering council expands coverage of money laundering

SAN FERNANDO CITY, April 7 (PIA) — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has partnered with the Anti-Money Laundering Council to ensure that even pawnshops and those involved in money remittances and conversion will be protected from suspicious transactions.

The BSP and AMLC will be holding a series of seminars among stockholders, proprietors, directors, officers and employees directly in charge of operations of pawnshop, foreign exchange dealer, money changer and remittance agent on April 25 and 26 to provide integrity in their transactions.

The council is tasked primarily to respond to the growing threat of money-laundering in the banking industry.

Money laundering is a scheme whereby a person derives huge amounts of money from illegal transactions and passes them off as legitimate funds by depositing them to financial institutions like banks.

Laundered money, which is often derived from illegal means like kidnapping for ransom, piracy, robbery and extortion, jueteng and qualified theft, can be hidden in various banks abroad.

The ALMC is responsible in investigating cases of money laundering.

Marian C. Suaso, bank officer of the BSP said the ALMC will discuss the provisions of Presidential Decree 114 or the Pawnshop Regulation Act and Republic Act 9194 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Under PD 114, the state must regulate the establishment of pawnshops and to place their operation on a sound and stable basis to derive the optimum advantages from them as an additional source of credit.

Suaso said the law on pawnshops will help operators prevent and mitigate practices that are prejudicial to public interest and lay down the minimum requirements and standards in operating their businesses.

The anti-money laundering law, on the other hand, will alert parties of the pawnshop business of any suspicious banking transactions or activities.

Suaso said the seminar will help the banking industry in the region to adopt measures and practices that would reduce the occurrence of money laundering. (MCA/MHH PIA1 La Union)

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