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The Philippines AMLC has officially published the latest study on suspicious transactions linked to casino junkets, which reveals several operators who violated junket contracts.
The AMLC (Anti Money Laundering Council) has officially revealed a new study highlighting all the operators that did not report any suspicious transactions associated with casino junkets. The study further aims to explore the threats from money laundering and terrorist financing with casino junkets operating in the Philippines. The study emphasised, “Suspicious Transaction Reports filed by high-risk integrated resorts echo the need to strengthen the AML/CFT controls in the casino sector.”
However, the AMLC noted two certain examples linked with the unnamed integrated resort, referred to as Casino A. In the first example, the junket was required to file a Rove Report daily to cover each suspicious transaction between Casino A and Junket Operator 1. However, Casino A’s AML team AML team noticed a peculiarity, in that Junket Operator 1 continued to issue reports stating that there were no suspicious or covered transactions.
On this note, Casino A witnessed cash payments with withdrawals by unknown people in the CCTV footage of the Junket room in question. No such withdrawals were mentioned in the Junket Operator 1’s Rove reports. According to the AMLC study, Junket Operator 1 stated that “it had mistakenly failed to record and submit the transactions in question. These involved 21 cash deposits totalling Php1.58 billion (US$29 million) to a single account between December 2021 and March 2022.”
Another example involving Casino A discloses the same pattern of reportable transactions performed by people who were not in Junket Operator 2’s Rove Reports. However, in many of these instances, the bigger transactions were not backed by any game, this indicates that the individuals who made the transactions were not actually patrons of the games. Casino A eventually terminated the junket contract with Junket Operator 2 due to contract violation.
According to the AMLC, “Casino A submitted 507 Suspicious Transaction Reports with an aggregate amount of Php6.86 billion (US$126 million) in 2022 alone in relation to Junket Operator 2.”
Not reporting transactions that breach contracts and a junket operator included in a criminal conspiracy are some crucial areas of risk.
In this regard, the AMLC said: “The heavy use of physical cash by casino players of covered and suspicious transactions by certain casino junket operators contributes to the [issue], coupled with the non-reporting vulnerability of high-risk integrated resorts to money laundering risks.”
However, the council emphasised that “further study is required into the findings of its report.”
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