Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday vowed no mercy for money launderers. The Prime Minister was chairing a high-level meeting held to review measures to curb money laundering in the country. The Prime Minister reviewed the progress made by several concerned departments to curb money laundering. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, PM's Special Assistant Shahzad Akbar, the heads of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), and secretary interior.
The Governor SBP gave a detailed briefing on the steps taken by commercial banks to prevent money laundering. The PM was informed that on the charges of fake accounts, six officers have been fined of Rs 247 million and inquiry is being initiated against 109 officers.
The Prime Minister was informed that Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of SBP is being strengthened to prevent suspicious bank transactions. The Prime Minister was informed that 8,707 suspicious bank transactions were detected in 2018 against 5,548 reported in 2017.
The PM was apprised that memoranda of understanding are being signed with different countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK), Qatar and Australia for information-sharing regarding money laundering.
It was informed in the meeting that coordination between FMU and other relevant departments is being improved to timely detect suspicious bank transactions and money laundering.
Official of SBP also gave a briefing on money and assets confiscated by the State Bank under charges of fake bank transactions and money laundering.
Customs official informed the meeting that in the current year goods and currency amounting to Rs 439 million were confiscated whereas confiscated items of Rs 131 million were seized in the same period last year.
They further informed the Prime Minister that Customs Department had confiscated over Rs 20 billion currency from Jan 2018 to Jan 2019, whereas, the recovery of currency amounting to over Rs 12 billion was made from Jan 2017 to Jan 2018.
The FBR officials said a total of 335 suspicious transactions were detected in three years from 2016 to 2019 and over 500 cases were investigated and a sum of Rs 6.6 billion were recovered. Similarly, foreign currency amounting to Rs 305 million was impounded, 11 cases were made and 11 persons were arrested in last four months.
The Prime Minister was also informed that as a result of incentives offered to overseas Pakistanis, foreign remittances increased by 12.5 per cent.
The secretary interior gave a separate briefing on the steps taken by the ministry on the country's borders to check money laundering.
Prime Minister Khan stressed the need for making FMU more effective and said the menace of money laundering gave irreparable loss to the economy. "People involved in money laundering do not deserve any concessions and they must be unveiled before the nation," he added.