Joint Training Enhancing Interagency Cooperation in ATF: Combating Bulk Cash Smuggling and Fundraising through NPOs

1 September 2023, Karachi -UNODC's Pakistan Terrorism Prevention Project, funded by the U.S. Embassy's Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), organized a workshop on improving interagency cooperation in countering bulk cash smuggling and addressing fundraising through Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) on August 30-31, in Karachi. 

A total of 25 officials (4 Females) representing Pakistan Customs, Pakistan Coast Guards, Federal Investigation Agency, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), and home departments from Sindh and Balochistan provinces attended these workshops. 

The primary objective of this workshop was to strengthen coordination and collaboration among the participating agencies in effectively combating bulk cash smuggling and detecting illicit fundraising activities associated with terrorism financing. The training provided a platform for sharing knowledge, enhancing skills, and fostering interagency partnerships to ensure a comprehensive approach to addressing these threats.

The workshop started with opening remarks by the UNODC representative, who emphasized the purpose and significance of the joint training in combating bulk cash smuggling and fundraising through NPOs. The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) delivered a presentation highlighting the risks associated with terrorist financing through cash smuggling, fundraising through NPOs, and the crucial role of interagency coordination in tackling this issue effectively.

Subsequent sessions delved into the complex methods employed in bulk cash smuggling through seaports, airports, and land routes, emphasizing the critical responsibilities of Pakistan Customs and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as frontline border agencies. The Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) presented a comprehensive analysis of cash couriers, highlighting the importance of strategic assessment and research in identifying suspicious transactions and potential money laundering activities associated with bulk cash smuggling.

The second day's focus was the national legal framework governing cash smuggling, including the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Customs Act of 1969. Participants gained insights into the legal provisions and procedures governing cash smuggling cases, empowering them to navigate investigations and prosecutions with heightened efficacy. A case study and group exercise provided participants practical exposure and an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills acquired during the training. Through collaborative discussions and problem-solving activities, participants engaged in simulated scenarios, allowing them to analyze real-world challenges and devise effective strategies to combat bulk cash smuggling and fundraising through NPOs.

The workshop concluded with closing remarks by UNODC, expressing appreciation for the active participation and commitment of the participating agencies. This ongoing commitment to knowledge enhancement and collaboration underscores the collective dedication of the Pakistan Terrorism Prevention Project, the U.S. Embassy's Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), UNODC, and the participating agencies to proactively address the persistent challenges of bulk cash smuggling and fundraising through NPOs.