Philippines Lawmaker Urges Senate To Expedite Crypto Bills

April 17, 2018 12:51 pm Published by

A measure in the Philippines aimed at increasing penalties for crimes involving cryptocurrency is being fast-tracked by a lawmaker, CoinDesk reported Tuesday.

Philippines’ opposition Sen. Leila M. de Lima urged colleagues in the legislature Monday to allow “swift passage” of bills she has previously introduced proposing higher penalties for crypto crimes to one degree higher than the way the law is currently written, the report said.

In March, de Lima noted the increasing difficulty of investigating crimes using the anonymity-providing features of cryptocurrencies, CoinDesk reported.

De Lima’s latest call to speed up the passing of the bill, however, was in response to a recent bitcoin fraud case in the Philippines that saw 900 million pesos ($50 million) apparently taken from more than 50 residents, the report said.

A Philippine National Police statement released April 10 said the scheme’s suspected organizers – Arnel Ordonio and his wife Leonady Ordonio – have been arrested for allegedly swindling the investors, the report said.

“No matter how small or big a group, same punishment must be given. It should never be easy to escape after stealing the hard earned money of other people,” de Lima said of the case.

The proposed legislation, if passed, would reduce the criteria to qualify as a “syndicated estafa” crime from five to two perpetrators, CoinDesk reported.

Under the current legal guidelines in the Philippines, syndicated estafa refers to scams involving more than five individuals, who upon conviction, may be punished by life imprisonment or death., Jack Durschlag

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