Islamabad: A webinar on “Anti-Money Laundering and Global Security” was organised by Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies, here in Islamabad, today. An international panel of experts from Pakistan and the United
Kingdom were of the view that criminal entities had found loopholes in every industry to create layers for money laundering.
Prof. Dr Nicholas Ryder, Professor of Financial Crime at UWE, Bristol, said that in order to make state as well as corporate compliance more robust, countries like the US and the EU need to coordinate and cooperate
with countries from the South from where taxpayers’ money is illegally funneled out.
Mr Shakeel Ahmad Ramay from the Sustainable Development Policy Institute stated that politics needed to be taken out of the fight against money laundering. He stressed the need to recognize the limits of economic sanctions, and how the general populace/small businesses of a targeted country are adversely affected due to Western-imposed sanctions.
Ms Syeda Mehar Zehra heading the AML/Sanctions Compliance Unit at Habib Bank Limited highlighted that Pakistan had adequate rules, regulations, and laws in place when it comes to dealing with money laundering. She called for more awareness among general public through seminars and information campaigns on this issue.
President of CASS Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Kaleem Saadat, in his concluding remarks, highlighted that having a strong, dynamic, and well-regulated financial system is in Pakistan’s long-term interest. He also pointed out that contrary to international perceptions, there is an anti-money laundering expertise available in Pakistan, with major entities, including banks, taking the task very seriously. It has to be realized that an agrarian, largely undocumented economy, fueled by cash cannot, overnight, become compliant with contemporary, developed-world strict standards.
The webinar was moderated by Dr Usman Chohan, Director Economic Affairs and National Development at CASS.