Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue says it will take major steps to counter money laundering, including the establishment of a Customs Border Force (CBF) to clamp down on trade-based money laundering (TBML) and smuggling.

The FBR is also embarking on an audit of money exchangers in border towns, installing the Global Travellers Assessment System (GTAS) at airports and setting up a National Targeting Centre (NTC) to send alerts of suspicious movements of goods, currency and people to law enforcement agencies.

Complementary activities

Comprising 3,000 personnel, the structure of the CBF is expected to be finalised by the end of March 2019 and would complement the activities of established agencies focused on money laundering.

According to sources, it is expected the GTAS will be launched at Islamabad and Karachi airports in the next month. GTAS is an open source web application for improving security by screening air travellers. The government is also planning to establish radio frequency identification scanners to check baggage passing through airports.

Information sharing

The NTC will work to provide information to other enforcement agencies by identifying trends in the movement of passengers, currency and goods and spot circumstances where movements appear suspicious.

This information would be shared via the National Single Window with other agencies to alert them to investigate or take preventative actions as appropriate.

The NTC project is expected to be operational by December 2020.