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ISLAMABAD: The National Financial Action Task Force (NFATF) Secretariat has decided to hire the services of tax officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to ensure effective and timely completion of measures to detect suspicious business transactions and money laundering.

The Establishment Division has written a letter to the FBR Chairman, Javed Ghani, that the FATF Secretariat urgently requires services of suitable officials for posting as directors and deputy directors on deputation basis.

Subsequently, the FBR has asked its officials to apply for the said positions at the FATF Secretariat for onward submission to the Establishment Division.

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is responsible for ensuring that designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) including real estate agents, dealers in precious metals and stones, and the FBR-supervised accountants comply with anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism obligations.

Financial institutions, lawyers, law firms, notaries, and non-FBR-supervised accountants are supervised by other competent authorities and self-regulatory bodies.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar has also already announced that a dedicated autonomous secretariat was being established for issues relating to the FATF, which will work in coordination with all the provinces and departments.

Moreover, special cells have also been set up in all the relevant government departments to comply with the requirements of the FATF, he added.

The Establishment Division has also requested the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to provide officials for the FATF Secretariat.

The FBR had established a FATF cell under the director general of Intelligence and Investigation, Islamabad, to ensure an effective and timely implementation of measures against terror financing carried out through currency smuggling.

The cell will seek information required for the FATF-related work from the FBR, field formations, directorates, and record of meetings.

The FATF cell will serve as a focal point for all activities related to customs compliance for the FATF issues.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) established the Anti-Money laundering/ Combating Financing of Terrorism Cell at the NAB Headquarters.

The main responsibilities of the Anti-Money laundering/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism Cell include compliance, monitoring analysis and coordination with the National FATF Secretariat and relevant stakeholders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020