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The significance of money laundering: The example of the Philippines

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Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to examine money laundering generally and the response of one jurisdiction, the Philippines, to international pressure for anti-money laundering measures. Design/methodology/approach ? Money laundering is examined and described. The source of international consensus around the problem is considered. The multilateral response, including the pressure placed on the Philippines as a formerly non-compliant jurisdiction is examined. The initial measures of the Philippines were rejected. Finally the Philippine solutions that ultimately met with international approval are discussed: the establishment of a financial intelligence unit, the regulation of financial intermediaries and the provision of criminal and remedial measures are considered. Civil or non-conviction based forfeiture as a remedial device is given particular attention. Finally the limited jurisprudence on topic is examined. Findings ? The Republic of the Philippines has put forward anti-money laundering provisions that hold the prospect for success. Implementation will be challenging. Research limitations/implications ? Jurisprudence is still developing. This type of litigation takes time. As the financial investigation unit, the intermediaries and the courts respond to cases, there will be developments worthy of further research. Practical implications ? This paper looks at an international problem, money laundering, the multi-lateral response (only Nigeria and Myanmar are non-compliant) and the impact on the Philippines, their financial institutions and laws. Originality/value ? There is no comprehensive overview of the Philippine anti-money laundering law currently available. There is a book published out of Manila (quoted in the paper) but it is out of date and has not caught up to recent developments.

Keywords: Criminal forfeiture; Money laundering; Philippines

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-07-01

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