Pakistan is losing $10 billion a year to money laundering; Britain is prime destination for corrupt “politically exposed persons” (PEPs) to invest their funds.
LONDON, Dec 06, 2018: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Thursday called for collaboration between Pakistan and the United Kingdom to curb money laundering.
Pakistan and the United Kingdom enjoyed good relations and strengthening of anti-money laundering laws would benefit the two friendly countries, the minister said during a meeting with British members of the Parliament here at the Westminster Palace.
The Information Minister said illegal properties of Pakistani citizens have been traced in 26 countries. He said international cooperation is needed to check money laundering.
He said $11 billion from Pakistan illegally went to these countries and a large part of it was funneled to the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
Back in May, the National Crime Agency (NCA) identified Pakistan among three main source countries for money laundering in the UK.
The agency found that Britain was the prime destination for corrupt “politically exposed persons” (PEPs) to invest their funds and the most common source countries of those funds included Pakistan, along with Russia and Nigeria.
“The UK is a prime destination for foreign corrupt PEPs to launder the proceeds of corruption. Investment in UK property, particularly in London, continues to be an attractive mechanism to launder funds,” the NCA noted in its ‘National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organized Crime 2018′.
The minister told British Parliamentarians that Pakistan was strengthening its laws to check the illegal flow of money to foreign countries. In his talks with the British parliamentarians, he stressed that international cooperation should be expanded and laws should be made to stop investments made with illegal money.
In a related development, Pakistan is fine-tuning a new law to join forces with the international community to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in line with a recommendation of a global financial watchdog.
Pakistan has improved its ranking in the global Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Terrorists Financing (TF) index, but is still on the list of countries that have a significant risk of AML and TF, according to the Basel AML report 2018 released on October 9.