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Elements involved in money laundering deserve no concession: Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the elements involved in money laundering did not deserve any concession and their true faces must be exposed.

Presiding over a high-level meeting here, Khan said that money laundering was a menace which was causing irreparable loss to the country’s economy.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Special Assistant to PM Shehzad Akbar, Special Assistant to PM Iftikhar Durrani, Governor State Bank Tariq Bajwa, secretary interior, Federal Board Revenue (FBR) chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chief, director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other senior officials.

Bajwa briefed the meeting about measures taken by the State Bank and the commercial banks from across the country to check money laundering.

The meeting was informed that six different banks had so far been fined Rs247 million over fake accounts, whereas investigation against 109 officers was underway.

The meeting was informed that hurdles in the way of letting Afghan refugees in Pakistan to open bank accounts were being removed and the work to provide the facility of opening accounts on the basis of POR (Proof of Registration) Card issued by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was in progress.

PM Khan was also briefed in detail about the issuance of suspicious transactions reports, and the review and investigation of these reports by the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).

The meeting was further informed that the capabilities of FMU regarding the review of suspicious transactions had been significantly boosted so that the relevant institutions could be timely informed about suspicious transactions.

Officials briefed the prime minister that with 1136 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) issued during the last two months (January-February 2019), the number of STRs issued in the year 2018 stood at 8707 as against 5548 in 2017.