^

Business

AMLC flags two uncooperative POGOs

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star
AMLC flags two uncooperative POGOs
Under Republic Act 11521, which revised RA 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001, POGOs and service providers as well as real estate brokers and developers were added to the list of covered persons.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has named two uncooperative Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) as it ramps up efforts to prevent money launderers and financiers of terrorists from using the country as a haven for their operations.

In an advisory, the financial intelligence unit warned the public to be cautious and to observe appropriate protocols in dealing with MG Universal Link Ltd. and Inner Strong Ltd.

Both MG Universal and Inner Strong are included in the list of POGOs approved to operate in the country by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). As of end-August, there are 41 POGOs operating in the Philippines.

Under Republic Act 11521, which revised RA 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001, POGOs and service providers as well as real estate brokers and developers were added to the list of covered persons.

As such, the AMLC issued the amended Anti-Money-Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Guidelines for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) granting the financial intelligence unit to conduct compliance-checking, with at least 24 hours prior notice, to validate the compliance of DNFBPs with the requirements of the AMLA as well as its implementing rules and regulations, guidelines, and other AMLC issuances.

The AMLC warned that failure or refusal to cooperate would mean non-compliance and would be subject to  penalties and sanctions as the AMLC and the appropriate government agency (AGA) may impose under the AMLA and AGA’s charters.

“Supervising authorities are further informed that the AMLC resolved to revoke the registration of those covered persons who failed or refused to cooperate with the AMLC,” it said.

Earlier, PAGCOR president and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo said revenues from offshore gaming operations are expected to drop by more than half to P4 billion this year from the average P9 billion as several POGOs left the country and moved to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam amid the pandemic.

As of Aug. 6, the number of POGOs in the country decreased to 36, from at least 60 pre-pandemic, while the number of service providers fell to 133 from a high of 300.

Last year, PAGCOR’s net income fell by more than 82 percent to P1.55 billion from P8.84 billion in 2019 as revenues plunged by over 56 percent to P36 billion from P81.97 billion.

AMLC chairman and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno is optimistic the country will be removed from the gray list of Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on or before January 2023.

Last June 25, the Philippines was reincluded in the gray list of the FATF after it failed to address the technical deficiencies raised by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

AMLC
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with