NAB sets up cell to fight money laundering, terror financing

NAB cell to coordinate with National Financial Action Task Force (FATF) coordination committee


Haider Naseem October 17, 2019
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau on Thursday announced the establishment of the anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT) cell in a bid to comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

According to a NAB press release, the cell will be headed by DG Operations Zahir Shah and comprise Director Monitoring Zafar Iqbal, Additional Director Mufti Abudl Haq, banking experts Jahanzeb Fareed and Sohail Ahmad, and senior legal consultant Nasir Mehmood Mughal.

The cell has been tasked to coordinate with the National Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Coordination Committee. Director-General of Military Operations was given the overall responsibility for the implementation of FATF recommendations while Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar is responsible for coordination from the civilian side.

The development comes as the global body meets in Paris to decide Pakistan’s fate. Although news emerged that the FATF would keep Pakistan in the grey list for another four months, the official verdict is expected tomorrow [October 18].

Pakistan’s FATF compliance poor: APG report

The cut-off date for Pakistan to show improvement was October 2018 and the authorities insisted that they made a lot of progress during the past year.

In its final Mutual Evaluation Report, the Asia Pacific Group noted that Pakistan faced high risks of money laundering and terror financing and needed to improve the understanding of the risks emanating from various terrorist groups operating in the country.

Published 10 days before the FATF plenary meeting, the report did not affirm Pakistan’s assessment that it faced ‘medium’ category risk of money laundering and terror financing. In its National Risk Assessment report, Pakistan did not believe that money laundering and terrorism financing were high-risk category areas.

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