By M J Hayat
LAHORE: In the light of recommendations made by Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body formed to coordinate efforts on anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has amended the Intermediaries (Registration) Regulations, 2017.
The Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, places compliance obligations on the company service providers (intermediaries) to conduct customer due diligence and report suspicious transactions to Financial Monitoring Unit.
The amended regulations will require compliance by the intermediaries with the AML/CFT regime. So far, 193 intermediaries have been registered with the SECP under the Companies Act, 2017, and their list is available on its website. In terms of aforesaid amendments, notified vide SRO 1521(I)/2018 on December 14, intermediaries while performing their functions, shall ensure that their clients are not involved in suspicious activities, implying money laundering or terrorist financing.
Further, the intermediaries shall also ensure that the client is not placed on the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) list of designated persons or entities linked to terrorist financing or against whom a ban, sanction or embargo subsists.
Earlier, at an event organized to raise awareness about the money laundering and terrorist financing risks faced by non-profit organisations (NPOs) in the country, the SECP elaborated on various regulatory measures for anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
Organised by the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy, the event was held at the Regional Tax Office, Islamabad.
A large number of participants from the NPO sector, including representatives of federal and provincial NPOs as well as INGOs, attended it. It was held in continuation of the outreach activities undertaken throughout the country by the SECP on its own as well as in collaboration with the relevant authorities, including National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).
A detailed presentation was made by SECP on the regulatory framework for NPOs, risk profiling of the sector, money laundering and terrorist financing risk mitigation measures specified in the regulatory framework, recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on the subject, mechanism for implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions 1267 and 1373 on the subject, red flags and high risk indicators in the areas of money laundering and terrorist financing for NPOs, etc.
An overview of the counter-terrorism efforts and the initiatives taken by the relevant authorities was given by the NACTA representative, which was followed by closing remarks by senior FBR officers.