Saturday, October 31, 2020

Pakistan establishes anti-money laundering cell to coordionate FATF concerns

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has established an anti-money laundering cell in Islamabad office, a declaration released by the anti-graft watchdog said on Thursday.

The newly-established anti-money laundering cell will comprise of five officers which would be headed by Deputy General Operation Zahir Shah. The other members include the anti-corruption watchdog’s director Zafar Iqbal, additional director Mufti Abdul Haq, Jahanzaib and Sohail.

It is said that the specialised monitoring cell will also coordinate the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) secretariat and concerned stakeholders for curbing the financial crimes of illegal transfer of resources.

After the establishment of the cell, the authorities will be able to continue the thorough investigation against those elements financing terrorists in the country.

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On the other hand, the federal government is efficiently working on measures to root out the financial crimes which caused major damages to the national economy as part of the global efforts to block all loopholes for illegal means of money transfers and terror financing.

Earlier in September last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had issued the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) guidelines for non-profit organizations (NPOs).

The guidelines have been issued on the basis of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), keeping in view the evolving threats and challenges faced by NPO sector in the country.

FATF, an inter-governmental body formed to coordinate efforts on AML/CFT, has issued a set of 40 recommendations, which serve as international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

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Pakistan is a member of APG, a FATF-styled regional body and is required to adopt FATF standards as per membership obligations and also to comply with the UN resolutions.

The SECP is actively pursuing implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime in its regulated sectors, including the NPOs.

The guidelines have been issued by the SECP to assist NPOs licensed under section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017, in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

These may also be adopted by other NPOs registered under other laws as best practices on the subject.

These guidelines will not only assist in improving Pakistan’s outlook by encouraging increased adherence to the applicable standards and recommendations, but will also complement enhancing the level of understanding about the due diligence required with respect to AML/CFT in the NPO sector.

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