Sun. Jul 21st, 2019

Zardari in Hot Water: UAE and Pakistan to sign agreement on money laundering

Atif Abbas

Islamabad: The government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to sing agreement with United Arab Emirates (UAE), enabling the former to receive information relating to money laundering by former President Asif Ali Zardari.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has arrested former president Asif Ali Zardari and is conducting investigations relating to the money laundering of billions through fake accounts.

In addition to money laundering, UAE and Pakistan would also share information regarding terrorist financing under an agreement. The cabinet has given go ahead to the government to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UAE on money laundering and terrorist financing.

Money laundering is a global phenomenon that jeopardizes the international financial system. Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body was established by G-7 countries in 1989 to set standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and to protect the international financial system from impending threats.

Pakistan is not a member of FATF but is a member of Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APGML)-FATF-style forum comprising 41 member countries and 22 international and regional observers including FATF, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Egmont Group.

Sources told Newztodays.com that Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of the government of Pakistan had agreed on draft memorandum of Understanding (MoU) shared by financial intelligence department (UAE-FIU) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which had subsequently been vetted by Law Division.Minsitry of Foreign Affairs had also given its No Objections Certificate on the draft MoU.

Section 6(4)(e) of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act 2010 empowers the financial monitoring unit to cooperate with financial intelligence units of the other countries after due administrative process for sharing, requesting and receiving information relating to money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Finance Division had proposed the signing of the mutually agreed Memorandum of Understanding i.e. ‘Cooperation in the Exchange of Financial Intelligence related to money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorism financing between FMU of Pakistan and the financial intelligence department of United Arab Emirates.

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