Pakistan to address FATF’s concerns about smuggling of money: report

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is looking to upgrade its systems at the border posts and ensure better coordination among its agencies, a local media house reported.

After grey-listing Pakistan due to its ‘terror-financing deficiencies’, the decision to address the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) concerns regarding smuggling of currency by terrorist groups operating along the border with Afghanistan was taken during a meeting held at the Finance Ministry.

The report quoted the International Cooperation Review Group of the Asia Pacific Group study that listed the cross-border smuggling of the currency as one of four key areas of concerns. The report stated that “terrorist groups operating in Pakistan are able to continue financing themselves with little difficulty”.

However, Pakistan denies the allegations. Moreover, the country has from January to September 2019 to address four action points pointed out.

Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar said, “It was important that authorities at the border points should enhance the coordination and cooperation by sharing information on currency smuggling.”

The FATF had acknowledged that Pakistan had a cash declaration system and laws in place for incoming and outgoing passengers but it lacked adequate measures to prevent illicit cross-border transportation of cash.

Legal action can be initiated in case of a false declaration under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947 and the Customs Act, 1969.

During the period from 2012 to 2018, the customs authorities seized a total of Rs861.4 million at various borders in Pakistan.

 

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