Philippines: The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) chief Diokno told members of the Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines (REBAP), “Purchasing real property integrates illicit funds into the legal economy. When used for business activities, the purchased real property, such as a hotel or restaurant, may also provide what appears to be a legitimate source of income”
As such, Diokno said real estate practitioners play an important role in upholding the integrity of the financial system by executing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing preventive measures.
“Now that real estate brokers are covered under the ambit of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, as amended, real estate brokers are obliged to put into place measures to prevent and detect money laundering and its predicate crimes, terrorism, and terrorism financing,” Diokno said.
He said real estate brokers are also required to file suspicious transaction reports for transactions where any of the suspicious circumstances listed in the AMLA exists. “This means that all transactions that are below the threshold or those that are facilitated through banks or in-house financing are not covered transactions. It is also worth mentioning that clients paying real estate brokers and developers in sizeable amounts of cold cash are not conventional in the industry,” Diokno said.
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