As Pakistan is already in the grey list of the FATF which may likely be pushed into blacklist, an investigation by ICIJ has shown that at least as many as six Pakistani banks have been named in money laundering, which make up to at least $2.5 million.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Buzzfeed News carried out an investigation and found that at least 29 suspicious transactions worth about $2.5 million related to Pakistani banks, that may have been used for money laundering.
The six banks are Allied Bank, United Bank Limited (UBL), Habib Metropolitan Bank, Bank Alfalah, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan and Habib Bank Limited.
As per the investigation, all of 29 suspicious transactions were done during the year 2011 and 2012.
The investigation details by Buzzfeed News, shared with the ICIJ revealed that global banks to the US Treasury Department’s Intelligence Unit, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network known as FinCEN, filed over 2,100 suspicious activity reports.
The report revealed that global banks moved more than $2 trillion between 1999 and 2017 in suspicious payments, flagging clients in more than 170 countries, identified as being involved in illicit transaction.
As per revealed data on Pakistani banks, out of the 29 suspicious transactions to and from Pakistan, received transactions amounted to $1,942,560 while the sent transactions were $452,000, which include at least 12 suspicious transactions by Allied Bank, eight flagged transactions by United Bank Limited, three by Bank Alfalah, four transactions by Standard Chartered Bank and one by Habib Bank Limited.
The report has put another dent on global image of Pakistan’s crippling economy and its position on money laundering.
It comes at a time when Pakistan is working hard towards fulfilling the 27-point-action plan of the global watchdog on terror financing and money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Pakistan currently is in the grey list of the FATF and is working on compliance of the action plan to ensure that it saves itself from being pushed ahead into the black list, which would attract global financial sanctions.