AMLC scored over inaction on ‘dirty money’

SENATORS Richard Gordon and Senate Minority leader Franklin Drilon slammed the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for not acting promptly on the Bureau of Customs’ report that a certain individual was detained for non-declaration of $700,000 money in cash in 2019.

Gordon stressed, since the BOC has already notified AMLC, the latter should have acted on the incident immediately as this can be a case of money laundering.

The AMLC, he said, should have checked right away where the money came from and where the funds would be used.

“Kung nakita niyo na nag-report na ang Customs, hindi ba dapat alam niyo iyan? Mayroon kayong intelligence. Ang Customs, nahuli na. Nagastos na iyong pera. That means, there’s a problem on your bureaucracy. That’s bureaucracy at its worst form,” Gordon tells AMLC.

As a response, AMLC Executive Director Mel Racela said that they cannot immediately declare that the funds are money laundered as they have to “assume in good faith.”

Gordon did not agree with Racela’s reasoning and said that AMLC’s failure to act fast could lead to corruption.

“I’m shocked beyond imagination. Kung tayo, magtatagal, sasabihin na lang, ‘edi makikipag-CASHunduan na lang kami sa Customs.’ You defeat the purpose of the law. Don’t you think AMLC has to correct this? Once they cannot establish provenance of the money, that’s money laundering,” Gordon pointed out.

According to BOC, a total of 60 individuals brought in over $633 million or more that P32 billion in cash from September 2019 to March this year.

Gordon finds this alarming as foreign currencies could be brought in by international syndicates and used against the country’s national security.

Drilon also expressed disappointment over the issue.

“It is reported and that’s the end of it because of our bureaucracy. Can we imagine transaction by the hundreds of millions that can be transmitted in a matter of seconds and it takes us a few months to act on these reports? I think something is wrong with that,” Drilon said.

“No sense in continuing with POGO licensing,” he further stressed.