Authorities register 165 cases against money launderers

ISLAMABAD: The authorities concerned have registered 165 cases against money launderers during the first eleven months of 2015 as compared to 72 such cases registered during previous three years (2012 to 2014).

The comparison shows the measures introduced to curb money laundering during present regime have started producing some logical results with arrests of 143 persons during 2015 (January to November). The number of arrests involved in money laundering was 94 during 2012 to 2014 (three years).

Similarly, the number of under investigation cases was 115 in 2015 and 38 in previous three years. The number challaned or under trial cases was 50 in 2015 and 22 in previous three years. So far, 12 cases have been decided.

The data issued by Ministry of Interior while citing the steps taken to curb money laundering on Wednesday revealed that under Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2010, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) deal with such cases.

The other steps ratification of all relevant United Nations conventions and protocols in Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism domain and enactment of Anti Money Laundering Act 2010.

Another measures were issuance of Anti Money Laundering Regulations, 2008 & 2015 under Anti Money Laundering Act, 2010, constitution of National Executive Committee and General Committee under AML Act, 2010 to oversee Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism regime and establishment of Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) to disseminate financial intelligence to designated Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and Financial Sector Regulators.

The data further revealed that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) have pro-actively issued regulations in Anti-Money Laundering/Combating

Financing of Terrorism areas e.g. Customer Due Diligence, Correspondent Banking Wire Transfers, Reporting of Transactions, Record Keeping, Internal Controls, Policies, Compliance, Audit & Training to meet their Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism obligation under FATF standards. Amendments in Anti-Terrorism Act in 2013 and 2014 to align the terrorist financing regime with the international standards.

Some other steps included enhanced international cooperation, introduction of declaratory regime for physical movement of currency & bearer negotiable instruments, revision of Currency Transaction Report (CTR) threshold to Rs. 2 million and maximum coverage of Predicate Offences in terms of international standards.