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Philippines flags 'suspicious' 14b pesos of online casino money

[MANILA] The Philippines' Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said it has flagged as "suspicious" about 14 billion pesos (S$382.1 million) worth of transactions linked to online casinos.

The transactions from 2017 to October 2019 "were related to suspicious activities", AMLC executive director Mel Georgie Racela said in a Senate hearing on Thursday, citing the agency's risk assessment report on Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGOs which cater mainly to Chinese punters.

Bulk of the transactions involved amounts that supposedly weren't commensurate to business or financial capacity of parties involved, Mr Racela said. Some funds movements may also be linked to drug trafficking, fraud and e-commerce law violations, he said.

Lawmakers at the Senate are investigating reports of crimes ranging from prostitution to cash smuggling and money laundering involving Chinese nationals.

BLOOMBERG