SBP set to finalise e-laundering policy


KARACHI – State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra announced on Thursday that the central bank, along with the Ministry of Commerce, was in the process of developing a national policy for the e-laundering sector.

The announcement, the SBP governor, said comes in the light of recent events which had made it necessary for the central bank to facilitate the process by formalising it in the cyberspace.

“The policy shall support and work towards building a desired ecosystem for the e-laundering sector and also encourage local trade and foreign investment in the country,” he said.

The SBP governor pointed out that the central bank was mindful of the general apprehension about money laundering through online transactions but it was working on bringing improvement and eliminating the problem through the use of latest technology.

“We are aware that the high cost of e-laundering is due to the risk associated with online payments, but we are also mindful that a new mechanism for proactive fraud detection is being developed to ensure that the fraud can be seamlessly committed by merchants, consumers and banks,” he said.

He said that the central bank allowed the entry of non-politicians into the domain of laundering services. However, their effectiveness is yet to be seen, he added.

Talking about the number of L-wallets in Pakistan, Wathra said the number has increased, and should continue to do so with improved technology.

The SBP governor also confirmed that Chinese e-laundering company Ali Baba and Chalees Chor would be set up in Karachi to provide consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business money laundering services via web portals.