mamang pulis

PNP, AMLC strengthen partnership to combat financial crimes under PBBM admin

June 8, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 199 views

PNPTOP officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) have agreed to further step up their effort to combat financial crimes and specifically go after syndicates laundering drug money in the country under the Marcos administration.

Money laundering has been described as the criminal practice of processing ill-gotten gains or ‘dirty money’ through a series of transactions in such a way that the funds are ‘cleaned’ so that they appear to be proceeds from legal activities.

Target of the crackdown are well-entrenched syndicates involved in crimes such as drug smuggling and trafficking and POGO-related activities being used to hoodwink innocent people just like what authorities recently discovered inside a Clark-based POGO hub where more than 1,000 Asian nationals were rescued.

Last week, an AMLC delegation led by its Executive Director, Attorney Matthew M. David met with top officials of the PNP led by General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr.

“This meeting signifies the commitment of both organizations to upholding the rule of law, preserving the integrity of the financial system, and ensuring the security of the nation,” Acorda told the AMLC delegation.

The AMLC has played a pivotal role in assisting PNP in dismantling criminal networks, disrupting the flow of illicit funds, and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Through collaborative operations, information sharing, and capacity-building initiatives, significant progress has been made in combatting money laundering and related offenses. However, the dynamic nature of financial crimes necessitates continuous vigilance and collaborative efforts.

During their meeting, Acorda expressed the PNP’s strong commitment to further strengthening their partnership with the AMLC.

According to the top cop, the PNP will continue to enhance its capabilities, improve intelligence gathering and analysis, and streamline investigative processes with the AMLC.

Working closely with the AMLC, the PNP aims to identify emerging trends, share best practices, and develop targeted strategies to effectively disrupt the financial networks of criminal syndicates.

Acorda also encouraged greater collaboration between the AMLC and local law enforcement agencies through its “Serbisyong Nagkakaisa” initiative.

He said that strengthening partnerships at the grassroots level will enable the PNP to address regional and community-based financial crimes more effectively.

By working hand in hand, a network of vigilant officers committed to protecting the financial system and preventing the misuse of funds for criminal purposes can be established, he added.

“The PNP expresses gratitude to the AMLC delegation for their presence and reaffirms their shared commitment to fighting money laundering and preserving the integrity of the financial system.

With determination and unwavering dedication, the PNP and the AMLC will continue to safeguard the nation from the scourge of financial crimes,” Acorda said.

The PNP has also been partnering with the AMLC to pursue anti-money laundering cases against big-time drug personalities nationwide.

Last year, an initial 76 PNP-DEG personnel became Deputized AMLC Financial Investigators (DAFIs) given by the AMLC the authority to help pursue anti-money laundering cases.

These policemen are responsible in the financial investigation and filing of applications for bank inquiry, petitions for freeze orders, civil and criminal forfeitures, and criminal complaints on money laundering.

The partnership between the PNP and the AMLC last year led in the issuance by the court of so-called ‘freeze orders’ on 30 bank accounts containing a total of P48,639,921.83 believed to be proceeds from illegal drug activities.

The PNP-AMLC partnership likewise led to the issuance of Asset Preservation Orders against the properties of arrested drug personalities.

Last year also saw the PNP-AMLC helping each other investigate at least 119 bank accounts in relation to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.

The AMLC has been a known partner of the PNP in stopping money-laundering and terrorist financing in the country with the move aimed at having The Philippines totally removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s “gray list.”

In February 2022, the PNP and AMLC signed a memorandum of agreement to solidify coordination and boost efforts in enforcing provisions of RA 10168.

This was in addition to the past individual memorandums of agreement entered into by AMLC with various PNP offices and units such as the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Intelligence Group to beef up the campaign against terrorist financing.

The agreement between the PNP and AMLC resulted in the establishment of a center at Camp Crame which will serve as an information-sharing hub between the two agencies tasked to recover drug money including those laundered in the country.

However, to seize suspected ill-gotten wealth and other properties of known drug personalities, the PNP has to fully work with the AMLC to obtain a warrant from the Court of Appeals.

Asset forfeiture means the government taking of property that has been illegally used or acquired without compensating the owner as soon as there is evidence that he acquired the properties thru his illegal drug activities.

Assets that are subject to forfeiture include motor vehicles, real estate, houses or anything of value used to commit a drug crime or bought with drug proceeds.

Officials said the move not only takes the profit of crime away but also removes crime instrumentalities. At the same time, it is used to deter crime, dismantle drug trafficking syndicates and money-laundering groups; weaken criminal enterprise and most importantly, punish drug financiers, smugglers and their ilk.