Senator Dick Gordon, Chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, slammed the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for not acting promptly on the Bureau of Customs’ (BoC) report that a certain individual was caught for non-declaration of $700,000 money in cash in 2019.
Gordon stressed that since the BoC has already notified AMLC, the latter should have known about it and acted on it immediately as this can be a case of money laundering.
The AMLC, the veteran legislator said, should have checked right away where the money came from and where will the funds be used.
“That’s bureaucracy at its worst form.”
“Kung nakita niyo na nag-report na ang Customs, hindi ba dapat alam niyo iyan? Mayroon kayong intelligence. Ang Customs, nahuli na. Nagastos na iyong pera. That means, there’s a problem on your bureaucracy. That’s bureaucracy at its worst form,” the seasoned lawmaker tells AMLC.
As a response, AMLC Executive Director Mel Racela said that they cannot immediately declare that the funds are money laundered as they have to “assume in good faith.”
The senator did not agree on Racela’s reasoning and said that AMLC’s failure to act fast could lead to corruption.
“I’m shocked beyond imagination.”
“I’m shocked beyond imagination. Kung tayo, magtatagal, sasabihin na lang, ‘edi makikipag-CASHunduan na lang kami sa Customs.’ You defeat the purpose of the law. Don’t you think AMLC has to correct this? Once they cannot establish provenance of the money, that’s money laundering,” he pointed out.
According to BoC, a total of 60 individuals brought in over $633 million or more that P32 billion in cash from September 2019 to March this year. Gordon finds this alarming as foreign currencies could be brought by international syndicates and could be used against the country’s national security.