SEC exec pushes to lower AML threshold

Securities and Exchange Commission chairperson Teresita Herbosa says the current P5 million (US$100,000) threshold for casinos should be lowered to cover more suspicious transactions, local media reports.

Herbosa, who is a member of the Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said the Philippines may still risk being included again on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

“That is actually too high for me. It should be lowered if we really want stricter monitoring but I understand because I do not gamble. Maybe for them it’s a small amount. For me, it’s already a big amount,” said Herbosa, quoted by Philstar.

While Duterte has yet to sign the law, casino operators have been supportive of a potentially lower threshold.

“We are okay with that. That is manageable,” said Solaire Resort & Casino chairman Enrique Razon during the company’s recent annual stockholders meeting.

The topic of anti-money laundering came into the spotlight after last year’s scandal involving $81 million in stolen funds from the Bank of Bangladesh, which managed to find its way into the country’s casinos.