FBR sets up directorate to initiate legal action in suspicious transactions, stop currency smuggling

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has established Directorate of Cross Border Currency Movement (CBCM) to stop individual and trade based money laundering and initiate legal action in suspicious transactions.

The directorate shall be function under administrative control of the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation, Customs, a notification said on Thursday.

According to its scope and objectives, a database of currency seizures would be maintained and updated at the directorate. Further each Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) and regional directorate of I&I shall report information about currency seizures made within their jurisdiction on fortnightly basis to the directorate.

The FBR said that the directorate would share the data of currency seizures with the FBR and Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) on monthly basis or as when required.

The FBR said that the directorate shall maintain and update database containing information of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) received from the FMU. “The aforesaid data shall be shared with FBR and FMU on monthly basis or as when required,” it said.

The directorate will require to disseminate the STRs to the concerned regional directorate of I&I for inquiry and investigation. “Each regional directorate shall maintain record of STRs received and appoint officers to carry out investigation in light of the approved plan. “Progress on the investigation conducted in each case shall be communicated to the directorate for onward submission to the FMU,” it added.

The directorate will also responsible to devise a mechanism for information sharing with other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) on real time as well as on routine basis. The directorate shall also cooperate with LEAs in areas of mutual interest.

The directorate has been authorized to institute cases of money laundering. “Nominated or appointed investigation officers shall instituted money laundering cases emanating from STRs or currency seizures or from other sources, by filing complaints/applications in the respective competent courts through public prosecutors appointed under AML Act, 2010.”

The FBR said that investigation and prosecution of the cases would be conducted in accordance with the procedure laid down in AML Act, 2010 Customs Act, 1969 and Cr.P.C 1898.

While investigating money laundering cases in general and currency cases in particular, investigating officer shall focus on the following aspects:

a. The personal and / or family association with any religious / political/ social organization or groups, travel history, past criminal record, professional history, etc. of the accused / arrested persons shall be investigated. The motive/linkages of each currency smuggling case with any of the associated offence such as trade- based money laundering, capital flight, Hundi/Hawala, etc. shall also be covered in such investigation.

b. Whether there is any linkage of terror financing related to trans-national terrorist networks or UN designated entities and individuals detected in the cases the officers will be required to report to the directorate.

c. Whether there are possibilities of involvement of any foreign networks other than trans-national terrorist networks, the officers should approach Chief International Customs – FBR for seeking information about the foreign linkages of the investigation.

d. the investigation officers are also required to find source of funding for cash smuggling and the end user of the smuggling proceeds.

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