Govt asked to remove gaps in anti money laundering regime

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A ministerial committee on Friday asked the finance ministry to urgently take steps to fill gaps found in the existing anti money laundering regime and enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies for implementing the regime. Finance minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the ministerial committee meeting, which was attended by minister for foreign affairs, minister for law, governor state bank of Pakistan, chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and other senior officials of the concerned departments. An official statement said the meeting reviewed current status of anti money laundering regime, pace of implementation of various reforms under the law and capacity building of law enforcement agencies responsible for administering the law. The council noted that significant progress has been made over the last four years in establishing the regime based on international best practices. It noted that there has been due recognition of efforts by Pakistan at various international forums; however, it was noted that more has to be done to fill the gaps that still exist. It was also noted that despite a number of anti terrorist cases, the prominence required to build anti money laundering aspects in such cases required further strengthening. There was a need to increase capacity of law enforcement agencies to devote due attention to incidents of terrorism. The council urged the financial management unit of ministry of finance to urgently take steps to fill the gaps.