About $10 billion are laundered annually from Pakistan, claimed special assistant to PM on accountability
A Pakistani delegation will visit UK next week to seek support of the National Crime Agency to combat money laundering from Pakistan
Pakistan on Sunday said it will sign separate agreements with the UAE and China to tackle money laundering and enable joint investigations.
“We are going to sign agreements with the UAE and China to get access to information (on money laundering) and ensure joint investigations,” said Mirza Shahzad Akbar, special assistant on accountability to Pakistan’s prime minister.
“The agreements will help us deal with all those people who have devised different ways to launder money.”
According to the US State Department, up to $10 billion are laundered annually from Pakistan, said Akbar.
“Currently, we are working on hundreds of cases of money laundering and corruption,” he added. “Our economy has nosedived due to this problem.”
Akbar said he will go to London next week to meet with his counterpart at the National Crime Agency (NCA).
“We have signed an agreement with the UK and sought fresh details from the NCA to probe all cases related to money laundering,” he said. “I am taking a list of cases with me to discuss with the NCA.”
Previous Pakistani governments had failed to devise a system to tackle money laundering, Akbar added.
Pakistani authorities had recently found fake bank accounts containing millions of rupees, he said.
“Why were these accounts not traced previously,” he asked, blaming politicians who had not allowed state institutions to function properly.
“Now our institutions enjoy moral and political support from the government, and are working as a team to check such crimes,” he said. “We are restoring the system.”
The government has appointed a “highly qualified” person as director general of the Financial Monitoring Unit at the State Bank of Pakistan to “automate the system of tracing fictitious bank accounts and transactions,” Akbar added.
“We have developed an interagency system to check such crimes. Pakistan has not filed even a single case (of asset recovery) abroad in the last 10 to 15 years,” he said.
“We did not sign any memorandums of understanding or agreements with other countries for this purpose.”