CTD books NPOs for suspicious transactions

The News

PESHAWAR: Cases against a number of non-profit organizations (NPOs) have been lodged for suspicious transactions after the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and the district administration inspected the record of funds they had received and utilized during the recent months, a source told The News.
“The record of around 221 of these organizations was checked jointly by the concerned district administration, CTD and the Industries Department. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also provided details of around 29 inquiries to CTD for suspicious transactions,” the source told The News.
The source added that cases were lodged against a number of these non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or non-profit organizations, for failing to provide satisfactory answers to certain questions posed by the CTD and district administration.
The CTD had set up a Counter Terrorism Finance Unit (CTFU) last year to probe the suspicious transactions by NGOs and individuals. Pakistan has already accelerated steps against terror financing to avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“The question in a questionnaire provided to all these organizations included if any of the employee, donor or beneficiary is a proscribed person or in the 4th Schedule, whether they provide technical or administrative support to any proscribed person or organization, whether it is involved in any suspicious or illegal activity,” the source added.
The source said the questionnaire also included information about involvement of any member of the non-profit organiztaion in money-laundering. “The CTD and other departments also checked if any such organization was working with another name to avoid its terrorist identity or support to any kind of terrorist group,” the source added.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CTD is coordinating with other law-enforcement agencies including FIA, district police and Intelligence Bureau to ensure proper action under the Anti-Terrorist Act 1997 and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 in terror financing offences.
The CTD had set up CTFU last year to exclusively go after terrorism financing through various means, including the illegal hundi and hawala business. “Section 11 of the Anti-Terrorism Act deals with these offences and is applicable to fundraising, providing support in fundraising and money-laundering,” said the source.
The source said that standard operating procedures have been devised for investigation into the terror financing cases.
The district heads of investigation of CTD have been briefed and trained to deal with the terror financing cases within their jurisdiction.
An official said that the CTD has registered a number of cases against individuals as well and a large number of suspects have been arrested. Special attention is now being paid to investigation and prosecution in order to deny finances to the banned outfits.
“Besides money-laundering, terror financing is done through other offences including kidnapping for ransom and extortion,” a source said.
The FIA along with the police and Intelligence Bureau had already launched a major operation against the illegal business of hundi and hawala during which several dealers were arrested.
Pakistan has been placed on the ‘grey list’ of Financial Action Task Force due to the alleged illegal business of hundi, hawala and the smuggling of currencies in the country.
Fearing further downgrading and imposition of economic sanctions, the federal government and the Ministry of Interior ordered crackdown against the illicit money trade.

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