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Supplements Print 2024-01-27

Pakistan Customs - On Strengthening Partnership with Law Enforcement Agencies

The WCO has dedicated 2024 to “Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose”. With this theme in...
Published January 27, 2024

The WCO has dedicated 2024 to “Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose”.

With this theme in mind, and the ever changing dynamics of world, in terms of technology, the WCO has recognized the need to modernize and adapt to a new, more agile structure in order to keep up with the changing nature of global trade where existing partnerships with LEAs are strengthened and new dynamics of collaboration are explored for creating deep rooted enforcement infrastructure.

This includes enhancing training and capacity building programmes, adopting new technologies and improving communication and collaboration with stakeholders. Through this new approach, the WCO aims to be better equipped in order to facilitate safe, secure and efficient trade, while promoting sustainable economic growth and development.

This Modernization Plan is one of the key deliverables specified in the WCO’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025.

Pakistan Customs is committed to creating a more dynamic and responsive Organization that can better address the challenges and opportunities of the diversity in global economy as demanded in the 21st century.

In the recent backdrop of FATF’s requirements, Pakistan Customs, as an organization has played a vital role in identifying the cases of TBML (Trade Based Money Laundering).

It’s a complex and layered transaction of dirty money using legitimate trade channels.

Pakistan has very vigilantly devised a mechanism of reporting all suspicious transactions to and from shell companies. After the enactment of Anti Money Laundering Act (AMLA), 2010, the financial Management Unit was established in terms of Section 6 of AMLA 2010.

These FMUs are based in the State Bank of Pakistan and the Federal Board of Revenue, through its electronic database, is sharing data with these FMUs, which critically analyze all suspicious transactions and then report is back to the focal point.

The focal point in this case is the Director General, Intelligence and Investigation (Customs) which has a number of different Directorates looking after and dealing with all such affairs.

The Director Cross Border Currency Movement and the Directorate of DNFBPs. Pakistan Customs also has the inherited powers under the Control of Narcotics Substances Act 1997 and all such cases which are instituted by Customs under the CNSA, 1997, also required forfeiture of property and bank accounts as a result of pre and post seizure potential inquiry/investigations.

Pakistan Customs through a team of very professional and dedicated officers is doing its job to achieve its goals.

The Enforcement Collectorates of Customs are also instituting cases of smuggling and all such cases when investigated may find some linkages to terror financing and then comes the role of our external partner namely National Authority for Counter Terrorism Activities (NACTA).

NACTA is supported by various National intelligence agencies responsible for identifying and eliminating all terrorist groups which are being financed indirectly either through TBML, proceed of crimes under the CNSA 1997, DNFBPs and funding through charity are the money sources which need to be tapped and checked to bring all these transactions through legitimate and controlled channels.

This would not only broaden the tax base but also bring the undocumented economy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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