UNODC and SECP gear up to prevent money laundering and terror financing through awareness on the ML/TF risks

24 September 2020, Islamabad: Pakistan has made continued progress to enhance the confidence level of the global community on the country’s financial system through strengthening the AML/CFT regime. Given the context, the role of enhanced awareness on the available systems and controls to detect, prevent and deter financial crime is significant. To this end, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is continuously making a substantial contribution to strengthen the building blocks of the AML/CFT regime in Pakistan.

The SECP has launched a nationwide virtual campaign to enhance AML/CFT awareness through a targeted series of webinars with the objective to particularly assist better understanding of the regulated non-banking financial sector and entities about their statutory obligations under the available legal and regulatory framework. The awareness on ML/TF risks aims to develop enhanced capacity of the participating financial entities in combating money-laundering and countering the financing of terrorism based on international good practice.

The webinar series had brought together a cross-section of more than 500 professionals, including a significant representation of women, from the regulated financial institutions, representing Securities and Commodities markets, Insurance/Takaful companies, Non-Banking Finance Companies and Modaraba sector to undergo sensitization sessions on industry-targeted information on selected topics, such as the Risk Based Approach, Transparency of Beneficial Ownership, Proliferation Financing (PF), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Dual Use Goods, Terrorism Financing (TF), as well as Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS) and the process that the SECP Regulated Entities should follow in their application.

The knowledge sharing through the awareness sessions was triangulated through exposure to the international experience in AML/CFT to further sensitize and enhance conceptual understanding of the participants to identify and combat ML/TF risks. The key principles of applying a Risk Based Approach and to tailor it to a specific context to achieve compliance to SECP regulations was discussed in detail.

Participants were also informed on the need to address important legal and regulatory developments related to the transparency and availability of the beneficial ownership information of legal persons. The specifics of the changes to Companies Act and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act were described to all stakeholders to facilitate their task of identifying the BOs of their customers.

An online survey was built into the sessions to measure and evaluate the learning levels of the participants. The awareness sessions have resulted in enhancing understanding of the SECP on the challenges faced by the reporting sectors, underscoring the need for continuous engagement through training ‘toolkits’ and ‘guidelines’ with enhanced standards of supervision and inspection.



The virtual awareness campaign is implemented as part of the overall SECP AML/CFT capacity building programme supported by the UNODC’s AML Support Programme with financial support of the British High Commission