AMLC recovered P1-billion ill-gotten wealth in 2017

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has forfeited or frozen almost P1 billion worth of dirty money in 2017, including P52 million in cash recovered by government troops from the local terrorist group Maute.

The AMLC also highlighted in its accomplishment report submitted to the Commission on Audit (COA) its issuance of Resolutions TF-09 and TF-10, under Maute Case 2017, which ordered that all bank accounts and other assets owned and controlled by the Maute group be frozen.

The AMLC said the amount recovered from the Islamic State-inspired terrorist group includes P52 million in cash recovered by military troops from the “Maute/Abu Sayyaf-controlled area” during the five-month battle for Marawi City.

The AMLC said additional bank inquiries are ongoing to trace more possible assets of the Maute group.

The Maute group seized Marawi on May 23, 2017, prompting President Duterte to declare martial in the entire Mindanao. In October 2017, Marawi was declared liberated from the Maute, but martial rule remains in effect in the region to hasten the rehabilitation.

In the same accomplishment report or “operational highlights,” the AMLC declared that as of the end of 2017, the total amount of money it has already forfeited or frozen reached P8.165 billion, an increase of P901.816 million from P7.263 billion as of the end of 2016.

The AMLC said the forfeited and frozen amount includes money linked to illegal drugs, terrorism and other criminal activities. The AMLC attributed its improved recovery of dirty money to its continued filing of civil forfeiture cases in courts since 2001.

The AMLC’s “operational highlights” was attached to the COA’s annual audit report on the agency for 2017. 

The AMLC’s year-on-year figures show that the total amount of dirty money that has been civilly forfeited has increased by P23.93 million or to P911.87 million in 2017 from P877.941 million in 2016. The amount includes P19.214 million that has already been forfeited in favor of the government but is still awaiting execution.

Meanwhile, the AMLC said as of the end of 2017, a total of P48.856 million of the forfeited money has been returned to the government, up by P4.031 million from P44.824 million at the end of 2016.

The AMLC also reported that as of December 2017, it was able to return of a total of P1.685 billion in recovered money to the investors or victims of various scams, up by P98.965 million from P1.585 billion at end of 2016.

The AMLC said there is still a sum of P5.021 billion subject to pending civil forfeiture and freeze orders as of end 2017 from P4.242 billion as of end 2016.



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