Go to the Philippines to Hide Money

By Clifford Hwang

After targeting almost a billion dollars, hackers stole $81 million dollars from the Bangladesh Bank, in one of the largest cyber heists in history. The money trail disappears in the Philippines. Although the Philippine government enacted anti-money laundering schemes, the Philippines remain conducive to money laundering mainly due to two laws: the bank deposit secrecy laws and the anti-money laundering laws. The bank deposit secrecy laws, one of the strictest in the world, allows bank deposits to remain confidential, and the anti-money laundering laws, which require disclosures to prevent such crimes, do not cover casinos. Mix in a variety of other factors such as corruption, trafficking in persons, narcotics trade, and high volume of remittances from Filipinos living abroad, the Philippines remains one of the easiest places to launder money.