July 19, 2021

The AMLC is keeping an eye on more realtors and brokers

Following their inclusion as covered companies in the country’s monitoring of dirty money transactions, more real estate agents and developers are registering with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

According to the AMLC, over 3,300 real estate brokers and developers have registered as of the end of May, accounting for approximately 11% of the 30,000 brokers and developers registered with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

According to the financial intelligence unit, real estate brokers and developers, as well as Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and offshore gaming operators-service providers, are covered companies under Republic Act 11521, or the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001.

The AMLC has been holding webinars to encourage real estate brokers and developers throughout the country to join the organization.

The agency said that after just 50 registrations in February, 1,526 real estate agents and developers registered in March, followed by more than 1,100 in April, and 500 in May.

Hundreds of applications from real estate agents and developers are still outstanding, according to the AMLC, and need the submission of the necessary documentation.

“The AMLC’s compliance and monitoring section, which processes registrations, is similarly burdened by the number of registrations,” it added.

Thousands of non-financial companies and professions are registered with the organization. Lawyers, accountants, jewelry dealers, and casinos, in addition to real estate agents and developers, are needed to register with the AMLC.

Failure to register with the AMLC’s reporting system may result in fines ranging from P10,000 to P5 million, depending on the value of the asset.

Real estate agents and developers are required to disclose single cash transactions of P7.5 million or more to the AMLC under the amended AMLA.

The announcement came after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), headquartered in Paris, said that dirty money profits are being channeled into the real estate industry in many Asian nations, including the Philippines.

Due to a lack of anti-money laundering regulations, the country’s real estate industry is vulnerable to dirty money transactions, according to the AMLC.

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