BSP to banks: Step up efforts vs money laundering
BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier issued Circular Letter 2019-016 informing banks about the amended frequently asked questions or FAQs from the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (US-OFAC) with respect to Venezuela-related sanctions.
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BSP to banks: Step up efforts vs money laundering

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has directed banks and financial institutions to step up customer due diligence procedures to make sure the Philippines would not be used as a money laundering site in light of the crisis in Venezuela.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier issued Circular Letter 2019-016 informing banks about the amended frequently asked questions or FAQs from the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (US-OFAC) with respect to Venezuela-related sanctions.

While the sanctions are directed at Americans, the Philippines must extend its “cooperation in transnational investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in money laundering activities wherever committed,” Fonacier said in the circular.

Fonacier added that all BSP supervised financial institutions should identify and act on clients that are included or deal with persons and entities in the US-OFAC sanctions list.

She said banks should investigate and submit suspicious transaction reports to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

The BSP official said banks should act on exposure to any of the debt, bonds and other instruments issued by the Venezuelan government or government-owned and controlled entities and their subsidiaries and affiliates.

The US government has issued several executive orders to address concerns arising from the political crisis in Venezuela as President Nicolas Maduro continued to cling on to power.

The US continued to impose sanctions and support opposition leader Juan Guaido in dislodging Maduro. It has also included some individuals, groups and entities associated with the Maduro regime, such as Petroleos de Venezuela SA in the US-OFAC sanctions list.

“Their assets are blocked and US persons are generally prohibited in dealing with such assets,” the BSP said in the circular.

BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS MONEY LAUNDERING
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