Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR) hosted an international virtual conference titled, “FATF Dialogue: Challenges for Pakistan in Combating Money laundering, Financing of Terrorism” on January 12, 2021. The objective of the webinar to gather insights from the academic and technical experts of pertinent subjects of combating Money Laundering and Terror Financing and to bring a rational and critical appraisal of the FATF compliance protocols towards Pakistan. A diverse panel was convened to discuss the critical subject, where Mr Ehi Eric Esoimeme from Nigeria, Kelly McCann from the US, Barrister Hassan Aslam Shad from the US, while president COPAIR Amna Malik, Barrister Abdullah Mumtaz Kahloon, Maleeha Hashmey and Dr Tehmina Aslam Ranjha from Pakistan delivered their riveting talks and commenced deliberations in the virtual session.
- Barrister Abdullah Mumtaz Kahloon presided over the session as moderator, he set the tone of the event by pitching the agenda and objectives of the virtual conference
- Dr Tehmina Aslam Ranjha provided an inclusive review of Pakistan’s case in acquiescence to the FATF protocols, and mentioned that Pakistan made a resounding success when it comes to the legislations and policies formulations Vis-a- Vis FATF suggested regulatory reforms. However, there is a dire need to execute such policies in true spirit to ensure considerable outcomes
- Ehi Eric Esoimeme stated that the majority of states that are facing challenges to fulfil the FATF compliance protocols are their inadequacy of reporting entities to implement adequate policies, procedures and internal controls based on an appropriate assessment of their money laundering and terrorist financing risks. While acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts, he said that Training for anti-money laundering compliance using focused classroom training and online learning systems for higher risk or minority areas can promote the cultural and awareness
- Kelly McCann emphasized the usage of modernized technology and software to ensure precise surveillance, and stressed that the role of correspondent banking relationships, correspondent institutions are required to perform customer due diligence (CDD) on the respondent institution, and gather sufficient information about the respondent institution to understand its business, reputation and the quality of its supervision, including whether it has been subject to an ML/TF investigation or regulatory action, and to assess the respondent institution’s AML/CFT controls
- Barrister Raja Amir Abbas commended the efforts undertaken by Pakistan but he also made a point that Pakistan has to revamp its strategic policy to purse its cases on foreign fronts. He also cited various cases like FATF that became subtle due to insufficient consolidated legal framework policy apparatus
- Ms Maleeha Hasmey overtly highlighted the FATF duplicity towards Pakistan and briefed participants that there are irrefutable evidence of money laundering and terror financing in India but the FATF’s exceptional attitude towards India questions the impartiality and efficiency of the organization
- Ms Amna Malik, President COPAIR stated that ML/TF has emerged as one of the significant global challenges and it required a collective approach, irrespective of subjective interests to combat such illicit trends. She commends Pakistan’s resilient efforts to combat the challenges of ML/TF amid of pandemic crisis and said that FATF acts as a pressure tactic by adversaries to isolate Pakistan but they will not succeed