Strengthening Counter-Terrorism Efforts through Mutual Legal Assistance, International Cooperation, and Financial Intelligence

20 December 2023, Islamabad - In a collaborative effort, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with the financial backing of the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, partnered with the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) to organize a comprehensive two-day workshop.

The main objective of the workshop was to equip law enforcement personnel with essential skills and tools to effectively respond to the changing patterns and new risks associated with the use of financial instruments in criminal activities. Additionally, it highlighted the critical significance of international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Key Highlights:

A diverse group of 30 professionals gathered from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to explore a wide array of financial products and channels commonly exploited by criminals and terrorists for money laundering and terrorist financing.

Discussions included Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT), compliance with the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and AML Act, reporting mechanisms like Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs), and both proactive and reactive utilization of Financial Intelligence. The implementation of goAML, confidentiality matters, and the role of the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) in disseminating financial intelligence were also central themes.

The participants received in-depth insights into the mechanisms of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA), including formal and informal methods, the domestic legal framework of MLA, and the procedures for creating MLA requests. The workshop also delved into drafting MLA requests, the utilization of documents obtained through MLA in investigations and prosecutions, the MLA framework specific to Pakistan, and the pivotal role of the Central Authority (CA).

Informal information sharing was introduced particularly focusing on exchanges between Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), drafting informal cooperation requests between FIUs, and establishing feedback mechanisms for shared information. A practical demonstration of the goAML system was provided to enhance understanding.

Participants left with a comprehensive understanding of the latest AML/CFT trends and the ability to effectively address them.

Supported by the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, this workshop served as a crucial platform for building bridges, sharing expertise, and advancing global efforts to combat financial crimes.




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