Government under PM Imran Khan’s vision, would equip its forces with most modern tools, gadgetry to help cleanse our society from all ills related to drugs menace, money-laundering; says Shehryar Afridi
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan made history on Tuesday as President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi launched country’s first ever data bank on individuals and organisations involved in crimes related to Narcotics and money-laundering.
At a decorated ceremony held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Dr Arif Alvi lauded the sheer hard work and dedication of Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi and his team for leading the way for the ministry to take a quantum leap in the technological advancement to help choke illicit drugs trade.
Secretary, Ministry of Narcotics Control Mohammad Amjad Saleemi, Director-General Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Maj-General Mohammad Arif Malik and other high ranking officials were also present.
Syed Tajammul Hussain, the tech wizard who developed the data bank gave an overview of the data bank that is developed as Project Ama’an.
Addressing the audience, Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi congratulated all the participants on becoming a part of the history as Pakistan goes to launch of the country’s first data bank on individuals and organisations involved in crimes related to Narcotics and money-laundering.
“Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, would equip our forces with most modern tools and gadgetry to help cleanse our society from all ills and malpractices related to drugs menace, money-laundering,” said the minister, adding that his team had e been working on this project for the past 15 months.
“After hectic efforts, this project is being handed down to the ANF and the ministry to make good use of it. It provides a comprehensive and one of the largest database on individuals and organizations related to narcotics and money-laundering related crimes,” said Shehryar Afridi.
Elaborating the main features of the data bank application, the minister said that this is one of the world’s largest Artificial Intelligence-driven database that captures information regarding individuals and organizations involved in illicit drugs and money transfer.
“The data in this solution updates in less than 10 minutes. New features of this project are under development that include facial recognition and smart search. This solution will make Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) one of the most effective force in the region,” said the minister.
He said the intelligence from this solution will also be shared with other law enforcement agencies and government bodies for their benefit. “We are now monitoring more than 200 global government agencies and have tagged more than 100 drugs and 20+ chemicals that are involved in production of narcotics. Billions of dollars flow through the hands of drug trafficking organizations each year and what they do with that money can have a huge impact on local and global economies. They might smuggle cash out of their home country, buy or build real estate, invest in restaurants and casinos for money laundering,” he argued.
Referring to a recent UNDOC report, the connection between the drug problem and four areas of international concern — organized crime, illicit financial flows, corruption and terrorism/insurgency is highlighted.
“Therefore, it is mandatory for local government to take necessary steps to control drug related crimes. Project Ama’an is designed to tackle the illicit drug trafficking in Pakistan. It collects the data from a variety of local and global sources,” he added.
Afridi said that the application performs various operations to transform and consolidate the data into a single repository.
“The database is constantly expanded and updated to offer the most accurate results. A team of experts continuously collect, normalize, and validate the data from multiple sources from around the world to ensure the efficacy of the solution,” he added.
Introducing the data bank application developer, Afridi said that one must give credit to the architect of the database – Syed Tajammul Hussain – who despite being so young, has made Pakistan proud over the past many years.
“Youth like Tajammul are the strength of this resilient nation and are proud for Pakistan. Project Ama’an aims at projecting Pakistan’s resolve to the world to fight Narcotics and money-laundering,” concluded the minister.