As the entire Filipino electorate rolls toward election day just months ahead, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) warns banks and financial institutions against the risks of digital vote buying.
In an advisory, the AMLC reminds covered persons under Republic Act 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA) to heed appropriate customer due diligence measures and closely monitor unlawful activities during the upcoming local and national exercises.
“In anticipation of the influx of financial activities that usually occur during the election period, and to ensure that proceeds from unlawful activities are not laundered during the campaign period, all covered persons are reminded of their obligations under the AMLA, as amended, and its implementing rules and regulations
Aside from conducting appropriate customer due diligence measures, banks and covered persons need to include ongoing monitoring, electronic or otherwise, of their customers’ transactions and file suspicious transaction reports, if warranted.
“Covered persons must be mindful of the red flag indicators and suspicious behaviors that are related/linked or are analogous to possible money laundering activities or any of its unlawful activities,” the AMLC added.
Such indicators include significant or large transactions occurring in a short period of time, unjustified large cash deposits and withdrawals, and transactions that are inconsistent with the customer’s financial profile or declared business.
The AMLC said covered persons should also be on the lookout for unusual transactions or activities compared with normal everyday trade or dealings, structured cash deposits and money transfers, use of multiple accounts by a single transactor, and use of several money service businesses to send funds.
“The AMLC remains steadfast in performing its functions as the country’s financial intelligence unit and primary implementor of anti-money laundering laws and regulations,” it said.