Bitcoin News

Philippine senator backs stricter penalties for Crypto-Related Crimes

A Senator in the Philippines has supported the idea of severe punishments for crimes related to digital currencies to eliminate bad actors from the country’s crypto space.

Crypto related crimes are becoming more commonplace with each passing day with crypto jacking topping cyber crimes against malware.

Leila de Lima, senator and a member the opposition Liberal political party adviced the authorities to accelerate the process of enforcing her bill that deals with uptight penalties for crimes related to cyber currency.  The statement comes after the news reports on April 4 surfaced about the arrest of a couple of duping dozens of investors in their crypto-based pyramid scheme.

Arnel and Leonardy Ordonio, owners of a company named NewG, created a fraud scheme that promised investors of healthy returns on their investments in every 15 days.

Senator De Lima has stressed on the need of Senate Bill (SB) No. 1694 in the country. She said, “I hope that this occurrence will push my esteemed colleagues in the Senate to take my proposed bill seriously and help pass it into law soon. Knowing that virtual currency resembles money, and the possibilities of using it are endless, a higher penalty for its use on illegal activities is necessary.”

The press release states that De Lima’s SB No. 1694 bill defines that every crime included in the Republic Act No. 3815 or Revised Penal Code (RPC), in relation to digital currencies, should contain a higher degree of punishment than what is provided for by the RPC.

She added, “As I’ve mentioned before, our penal laws must adapt to the changing times and our criminal justice system must always be prepared in the event like this.”

The senator explained some common incidents of the illegal use of digital currencies, including, “Estafa where unscrupulous individuals entice unsuspecting people to purchase fake bitcoins, sending a virtual currency as payment for child pornography, or a public offer agreeing to perform an act in consideration of payment in bitcoins (direct bribery).”

As of now, the law states that confederated ‘estafa’ and any form of fraud that includes a minimum of five members should get life imprisonment. But, De Lima aims to cut short the number to two with the Senate Bill (SB) No. 959.

She declared, “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.”

It should also be noted that Philippines government always backed bitcoin and other digital currencies. Bitcoin has enjoyed a legal status in the country since February 2017.

Although making a right move Senator De Lima has been a controversial figure. She is currently facing trial for gaining profit from the illegal trade of narcotics. She has requested the citizens of the country to stay away from shady schemes that promise spectacular returns.

It seems logical to implement stern laws which can possibly save innocent investors from getting duped by criminal minds. If successful, Philippines would become an example around the globe for taming illegal crypto activities through a new law.

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Andri Triyanto

Andri has worked as a research analyst with a big equity analysis company. His perspective of looking at the market is unique. He senses an opportunity when it’s near. He stays well updated with the market happenings.