Money Laundering Investigations Philippines
Money laundering, the act to keep hidden illegally acquired funds by making them appear as if they came from legal sources is a criminal activity that is a big problem in the Philippines. In money laundering, the illegally acquired money is transferred from one part of the world to another by abusing the services of banks, money remittance centers, and commercial institutions such as casinos. The appearance of legitimacy is obtained by integrating the illegal funds into legal transactions of the institutions being used.
Money laundering investigations in the Philippines are necessary for several reasons. Firstly, if this crime goes unnoticed and unpunished, criminals will have funds to continue with their illegal acts and get bolder with their misdeeds. Secondly, the Philippines has been tagged as a major money laundering country. The Philippines has been identified by the U.S. as a “major money-laundering country” in the 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (“Report”).
Concerning the Philippines, the Report concludes that “[m]oney laundering is a serious concern due to [the] international narcotics trade, alleged high degree of corruption among government officials, trafficking in persons, and the high volume of remittances from Filipinos living abroad. Criminal groups use the Philippine banking system, commercial enterprises, and particularly casinos, to transfer drug money and other illicit proceeds from the Philippines to offshore accounts.”
And this could well mean that the country could be heading towards a destabilized government and a crippled financial system if money laundering activities are not strictly reported to the respective government authorities.
Fighting money laundering in the Philippines has the support of the Philippine Government. The Government has introduced the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 or R.A. No. 9160 which criminalizes 14 activities including jueteng and masiao, swindling, smuggling, piracy on the high seas, terrorist acts, securities fraud, robbery and extortion, plunder, kidnapping for ransom, graft, corruption, and drug offenses. However, the hand of law can only work if officers and employees of institutions covered by the AMLA honestly report suspicious transactions. As per the law, failure to report to authorities, suspected transactions connected with money laundering in the Philippines could lead to 4 years of imprisonment or a penalty not lower than PhP100,000.
There are Money Laundering Investigations and Criminal Investigations Philippines Specialists who can help you uncover any concealed illegal operation, such as OSI. So if you have a suspicion of a possible money laundering activity, don't hesitate to seek the help of our experienced investigators.And a stray thought for the record. In case you are a potential employer reading this article, make it mandatory for your HR people to perform a criminal record check as part of their pre- employment background investigations and update it every two to three years. And fine an investigative group such as OSI that can check for same against hard copy records; versus the electronic records. Why? Quite frankly, negative records can be expunged much more easily from electronic records, versus tightly controlled hard copy records. This is a must to safeguard your business and avoid any future complications or threats caused by hiring the wrong employee who may have a criminal record.