December 1, 2022

Philippine cryptocurrency regulator suspected of corruption for millions of dollars

Personal Status of Raul Lambino, AdministratorThe Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), which issues licenses to cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines, has inexplicably grown to tens of millions of dollars, The Manila Times reports.

The publication, which had access to a report by the National Agency for the Coordination of Intelligence (NICA), called Lambino one of the most corrupt officials in the country.

CEZA has licensed 25 cryptocurrenciescompanies. According to intelligence, they paid management $ 100,000 in license fees and a similar amount for considering the application. Lambino registered a deposit of only $ 3,000, assigning almost completely every payment.

In addition, companies operating in the special economic zone, before signing the memorandum of understanding, transferred 10% of their capital to CEZA officials.

“We don’t want the Philippines to become a haven for scammers, so we’ll check the exchanges for honesty and integrity” - Lambino said in 2018 before licensing.

Cryptocurrency and gambling firms registered in the zone pay Lambino and his assistant 5 million pesos (about $ 98 thousand) every week, NICA claims.

Intelligence also suspects the CEZA administrator in appropriating, through various schemes, almost 2 billion pesos (more than $ 39 million) remaining in the accounts of the department after its predecessor.

The report noted that before joining the civil service in 2017, Lambino, with the income of a provincial lawyer, belonged to the “middle lower class”.

Recall that the authorities of the Philippines adopted regulatory rules for the cryptocurrency industry in 2018. They planned to earn $ 67 million on licensing crypto-exchanges.