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Solon: E-wallets may be used for money laundering, terrorism
SENATOR Francis Tolentino on Sunday said authorities and financial institutions should closely monitor large transactions coming different e-wallet services since it may be used in money-laundering and financing of terrorist activities in the country.
Tolentino made the remarks following last Friday’s continuation of Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs in connection with the mysterious disappearances of close to three dozen cockfighting aficionados involved in online sabong.
Tolentino was alarmed following the pronouncement made by Paymaya legal counsel Eloisa Sy that the e-wallet service provider only rely on the government IDs submitted by their subscribers as proof legal age amid reports that several minors are already hooked and addicted with e-sabong games using their payment platform.
The senator stressed that if e-wallet providers like Paymaya and GCash can’t properly determine if such subscriber is really of legal age or not, their platforms is definitely prone not only to money-laundering but also to terrorism financing affairs.
“So kung pwedeng malusutan ng minor, pwede ring malusutan ng mga money launderers saka terrorism financial activities,” Tolentino said.
According to Sy, Paymaya is only using their own “KYC” or ‘know your customer’ procedure in determining whether or not such user is of legal age, adding that they can’t really determine if the documents submitted by their users for verification is authentic.
Meanwhile, Globe Telecoms senior legal counsel Gilbert Escoto insisted that it is impossible for minors to access GCash’s e-sabong platform, citing the embedded security features placed in their mobile application that supposedly prevents those below 18-years old from playing or just accessing it.
But Tolentino was not satisfied with Escoto’s explanation, adding that the Senate panel might bring in the next hearings some cockfighting aficionados who are below legal age that were able to place bets in e-sabong using the GCash platform.
Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa, panel chair seconded Tolentino’s manifestation that there are really several minors hooked in virtual game fowl betting using either GCash or Paymaya platforms.