Remulla hails conviction of unregistered money service operator

04 April 2024

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Boying Remulla lauded the Department of Justice – National Prosecution Service (DOJ-NPS) for securing the conviction of a money changing operator charged of engaging in the money service business without the necessary certificate of registration from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

In a two-page decision, the Regional Trial Court  Branch 15 of Laoag City found Monique Diana R. Castro, owner/operator of LM’s Money Changer (LMMC), a non-bank entity, guilty beyond reasonable doubt for Violation of 901-N Manual of Regulations For Non-Bank Financial Institutions penalized by Section 36 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7653 otherwise known as “The New Central Bank Act.”

Presiding Judge Richard B. Balucio sentenced Castro to pay a fine of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

In the Information filed by the DOJ through Assistant State Prosecutor Vilma D. Lopez-Sarmiento, Castro was accused of willfully, unlawfully, and knowingly operating the money changing and/or foreign exchange dealing without first securing a certificate of registration from the BSP, thereby engaging in unauthorized money service business operation, which is contrary to law.

Castro entered a plea of guilty to the case.

“In view of the guilty plea, the Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged,” Judge Balucio said.

Secretary Remulla commended ASP Lopez-Sarmiento for successfully prosecuting the case.

“This demonstrates our firm resolve to go after those attempting to circumvent the law to the prejudice of the general public,” the Secretary stressed.

Remulla said, “a robust judicial system creates a stable business environment. We have a well-functional and effective administration of justice.”

“You  are all secured and assured of a fair and stable justice system,” the Secretary added.

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