Hindusthan Samachar
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8,707 dubious transaction detected by FATF related to terror outfits in Pakistan

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Mar 4 2019 2:30PM
8,707 dubious transaction detected by FATF related to terror outfits in Pakistan
New Delhi, Mar.4 (HS): In the backdrop of Pulwama attack it is important to note that a recent warning to Pakistan by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing and money laundering risks to the global financial system has virtually put the country’s entire machinery into an aggressive mode to show tangible progress within two months. The achievement of 27 targets under a 10-point action plan has now become a top priority for the government. As the FATF meetings were still in progress (Feb 18-22), the government announced a ban on Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation (FIF) to partially address the concerns raised by India that Pakistan supported these and six similar organisations, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or at least considered them low-risk entities. Pakistani newspaper the Dawn reports today that JeM reportedly claimed responsibility for the recent Pulwama attack in which 44 Indian security forces personnel died. This provided India with new fuel to embarrass Pakistan and it tried to isolate it financially and diplomatically. The FATF had specifically noted with concern and condemned the Pulwama attack, saying such incidents proved that terrorism continued to threaten societies and citizens around the world, which could not occur without money and the means to move funds among terrorist supporters.Since then, inter-ministerial consultations have been taking place on a daily basis to address weak areas pointed out by the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the FATF that assessed Pakistan’s progress report submitted by the Asia Pacific Joint Group — a regional associate of the FATF. In one of the recent meetings, authorities reported to the prime minister, Imran Khan that the issue was serious from a global perspective, noting that it was in Pakistan’s own interest to put its house in order. The meeting was arranged with all the relevant agencies and institutions by the Ministry of Finance for a push at the highest level, the Dawn says. According to the Dawn, it was reported that six banks had been fined and 109 bankers were being investigated for opening fake bank accounts. About 8,707 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) were issued in 2018 by the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), showing almost 57 per cent growth over 5,548 STRs of 2017. About 1,136 STRs were issued in January and February this year alone. Newspaper adds that smuggled currency and jewellery worth more than Rs.20 billion were confiscated between July 2018 and Jan 31, up 66pc from Rs12 bn a year ago. Memoranda of understanding are being signed with the United Kingdom, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Australia for financial intelligence sharing. It showed concerns about Pakistani authorities’ inability to demonstrate why they considered eight proscribed entities to be low risk as opposed to the high-risk view of the APG and ICRG. Therefore, the FATF urged “Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019” to address strategic deficiencies. It is said that Pakistan had revised its terror financing risk assessment, but did “not demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by Islamic State group, AQ (Al Qaeda), JuD, FIF, LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), JeM, HQN (Haqqani Network), and persons affiliated with the Taliban”. That is why the Pak government has today banned several organization that were helping terrorist network. The FATF will undertake the next review of Pakistan’s progress in June 2019, which will be preceded by a face-to-face meeting with the Joint Group in May 2019, it may be noted. Hindusthan Samachar/Pramod
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