AWARE that casinos may be used as conduits for money laundering since such firms undertake transactions similar to financial institutions, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) backed proposals to subject casino players and their transactions under its scrutiny.
Kabataan party list Rep. Terry Ridon disclosed that AMLC officials are supportive of House Bill 3334 which he filed, seeking to require casinos and other gambling establishments to submit the names of all persons availing their credit line exceeding P100,000 or its equivalent in any currency to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Ridon said AMLC officials, including Executive Director Julia Abad, are supportive of HB 3334 and its provision on monitoring casinos and other gaming junket enterprises.
At present, the AMLC only monitors casino activities with a minimum P500,000 transactions but Ridon’s proposal aims to lower the threshold to cover dealings with a minimum of P100,000.
The neophyte lawmaker noted that casinos are at risk of being made conduits for money laundering since they undertake financial activities, such as money exchanges, money transfers, and accepting funds on account.
“I believe that as Congress hears this bill, AMLC will consider lowering the threshold to P100,000,” Ridon said.
Besides going after casinos, Ridon’s proposal also seeks to require real estate companies, agents and brokers to require buyers to provide proof of payment of previous year’s taxes and proof of income from all sources that can adequately show their capability to buy the subject real property.
“The immediate passage of HB 3334 will make it truly difficult for money launderers to divert dirty money to the legal front and expedite the investigation and pursuit of all plunderers,” Ridon said.
The AMLC is mandated to inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment, including related web of accounts, with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution upon order of any competent court.