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On 30 August 2019, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Manila granted the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) Petition for Civil Forfeiture of over PhP23 million (approx 410,700 euros), which stemmed from the proceeds of drug trafficking.

The UK and the USA have decided to revoke the citizenship of two women who went to the middle east to join a terrorist organisation. These are headline grabbing moves and the media is happy to co-operate because they are women and young. But they are a tiny fraction of an enormous global problem.

The Philippines is an astonishingly misogynistic society. It often appears as if, at every turn, the system is specifically designed to disadvantage women.

Rappler is one of the most successful news websites in The Philippines and it has reported stories critical of the government and of President Rodrigo Duterte in particular. Even so, it was a surprise when it was informed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that its company registration had been revoked in what Rappler calls a "kill order."

CoNet Section: 

It all began when the Philippines was found to have been the destination for the money stolen from the Central Bank of Bangladesh and, all over the world, fingers began to be pointed at the country's Swiss-cheese like counter-money laundering regime. What was especially bemusing to outsiders was that while the country was on one level constantly engaged in a battle with terrorists in the south, the laws to combat the funding of terrorism were in a similarly poor condition. Stung by criticism, the Philippines began to review its laws. One major area that had been entirely left out of account was casinos. In the past few months, that has dramatically changed.

At the heart of Islamic fundamentalism across South East Asia is the desire to set up a so-called Caliphate taking in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines. In the Southern Philippines, there are a number of Islamic Fundamentalist groups who have taken to extreme violence and terrorism. The largest is Abu Sayyaf with which there is, supposedly, a peace deal, of sorts, in place. But the Abu Sayyaf leadership has splintered...

CoNet Section: 

The news that two bombs were detonated, about five minutes apart, at a busy bus station in Jakarta last night is, at the time of writing, the latest in a series of mass murders, apparently perpetrated under the false-flag of Islam. The bus station, in the Eastern part of the city, is a primary transport hub for working class Indonesians, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. The two suicide bombers succeeded in killing three police officers and injuring about 30 members of the public. What is worse, is that the attacks are disrupting preparations for the Holy Month of Ramadan which begins on Saturday.

CoNet Section: 

A notice from the central bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, "BSP") has told operators of pawnshops that the must get their house in order with amendments to the relevant regulations.


 WMLR Vol 15 No 2  World Money Laundering Report Volume 15 Number 2 is published today.

It is available for download by site licence holders and is available for individual purchase via the purchase links below.



The Philippines Anti Money Laundering Act: not fit for purpose.


The attention focused on The Anti Money Laundering Council in The Philippines is largely unjustified. It can only what the law allows and, as World Money Laundering Report Vol 15 Number 2 will show, the law falls a long way short of ideal - and it's not only casinos.

But, as the graphic below shows, it's not the only problem AMLC has.

At the heart of the Philippines aspect of the Bank of Bangladesh case appears to be a "businessman" known as Kim WONG. But in less than 30 seconds, we discovered that as recently as 2001, he held a Chinese passport in the name WONG Kam Sin - and used it to get out of The Philippines in the face of an investigation.

One has to ask what some people are on: Jo Imbong, a lawyer for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, has issued proceedings naming her son James and his wife as plaintiffs who are petitioning for a declaration that a new law legalising contraception for the first time is unconstitutional. Amongst her arguments is that "This law corrupts Philippine culture, mainly the emphasis we put on family values and marriage, taking care of children and parenting." Before she runs that argument, she might like to count how many young women are left bringing up children born out of wedlock or after their husband has run away with another woman, often with no support from the father.

The Philippines Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, says that is has seen continued growth in remittances from Filipino workers overseas as the effects of the global financial crisis are factored out - but in March, the rate of growth was slower than in February.

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