Mock-trial Workshops to Improve the Understanding on CFT and ML Legal Framework and Trial Process for Criminal Justice Practitioners

26 July 2023 - Karachi – The Pakistan Terrorism Prevention Project of UNODC, funded by the U.S. Embassy’s office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), organized workshop on Countering the Financing of Terrorism Mock-Trial for Investigators, Prosecutors and Judges. The two-day workshop took place on 24-25 July, 2023 at Marriott Hotel, Karachi.

The participants comprised officials, including representatives from the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), Federal Investigation Agency, Prosecution Department, and Judiciary from both Anti-Terrorism and District Courts of Sindh and Balochistan. This diverse group, which included 18 officials including 4 female officials, gathered to deepen their knowledge and refine their skills related to the legal framework concerning Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Money Laundering (ML), along with gaining practical insights into the trial process.

Notably, this workshop built upon the success of similar workshops conducted in the past, which have proven instrumental in equipping criminal justice practitioners with the necessary tools to combat terrorism financing effectively. By engaging in hands-on exercises and focusing on courtroom skills and techniques, the participants had the opportunity to role-play as investigators, prosecutors, and judicial officers in a mock terrorism financing trial. This immersive experience allowed them to better understand the intricacies of the trial process and further hone their legal expertise.

The workshop commenced with an informative session providing an overview of the CFT regime in Pakistan, emphasizing the implementation of FATF recommendations and their immediate impact on countering financing of terrorism. The participants delved into the key provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997, which are relevant to terrorism financing and the proscription regime. They also gained insights into the requirements of evidence necessary for successful convictions and confiscations. Furthermore, the participants were made aware of the National Risk Assessment and the importance of adopting a risk-based approach for enhanced outcomes in countering the financing of terrorism.

The second session focused on different stages of money laundering, elucidating the modus operandi employed by criminals to facilitate terrorism financing. The workshop shed light on the crucial provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2010, pertaining to money laundering investigations, as well as the technical aspects of establishing a money trail that connects illicit funds to terrorism financing. The vulnerability of various sectors, particularly Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), to exploitation in money laundering and terrorism financing tactics was also emphasized.

During the last session of the first day, the workshop also delved into the growing concerns related to virtual assets and darkweb in the context of countering the financing of terrorism and money laundering. Participants gained insights into the emerging challenges posed by digital currencies and their potential use in illicit activities.

On the second day, a representative from the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) delivered an in-depth presentation on the evolution, mandate, and functions of the FMU. The participants gained insights into the compliance of UNSC resolutions, the institutional framework, the understanding of Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS) by reporting entities, and the challenges faced by the FMU in domestic and international cooperation and implementation. The presenter also provided a comprehensive explanation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for the analysis of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs), as well as the risk screening and analysis of TFS-related STRs.

During the second part of Day 2, the participants were divided into different groups and presented with a complex case scenario. Each group was assigned specific roles related to the case, such as receiving records from relevant authorities, establishing a money trail, recording witness statements, preparing seizure memos, lodging First Information Reports (FIRs), and ultimately, preparing the final report. At the end of the workshop, each group acted as prosecutors, presenting their cases before two esteemed members of the Sindh Judicial Academy who presided over the mock-trial. The judges meticulously examined the presented cases, highlighting any gaps or areas for improvement in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism financing trials.

The workshops concluded with closing remarks from Shahid Shafique, District Judge, who expressed his sincere appreciation for the unwavering efforts of the UNODC in providing invaluable platforms for capacity-building in tackling terrorism financing cases. He also extended his gratitude to the US Embassy's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office (INL) for their generous financial support. The events concluded with the distribution of certificates to all the participants, recognizing their active participation and commitment to combating terrorism financing.

To date, the UNODC with the financial support from INL has successfully organized a total of four workshops on this critical subject, reaching a total of 77 officials, including 17 female participants, from key institutions across Sindh and Balochistan. These workshops have proven instrumental in empowering criminal justice practitioners to effectively tackle terrorism financing challenges and enhance their expertise in countering the financing of terrorism and money laundering.



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