Money laundering is a major threat to economy

Daily Times

Money laundering, white-collar crime, corruption and tax aversion are global issues and not a challenge for Pakistan alone. That said, they have had a major role in the destruction of Pakistan’s economy. The recent inflation and the hike in prices of fuels is all because of corruption and money laundering.
Money laundering is a serious crime against the state. A ‘launderer’ disguises the origin of the money. Money laundering covers the money trails. The money may have been obtained through a criminal activity. Money laundering is all about financial transactions that are projected to transform black money into legal or legitimate assets. Money laundering is like oxygen to organised crime. It sustains terrorism and human trafficking.
Almost all money from any business or a criminal activity ends up in a bank somewhere in the world. It is either deposited in the state where the crime is committed and transferred to offshore accounts or it is smuggled from the state where the illicit and illegal funds originated. Money is considered “dirty” when it is obtained through criminal acts such as corruption, drugs trafficking and terrorist activity. Criminals cannot deposit it directly in banks so they find ways to clean the money. Therefore, a money launderer needs to run the money through legitimate businesses before depositing it. In Pakistan, to hide illegal money it is often invested in real estate business.
In this era of information, role of financial institutions has become very important to deal with money obtained in an illegal way. Use of information technology has cemented and paved the passage for anti money laundering programmes or software to detect and find the origin of the money. When illegal transactions are identified, an alert massage is produced in the software, and a bank manager studies the information and reports it to the concerned government body.
Pakistan is a developing country. It has been facing the problem of money laundering for many decades. Money laundering has made our economy truly dismal, and the country is under huge debt because of money laundering. Not many countries are ready to trust Pakistan, particularly in financial matters.
In Pakistan, there is not a black money mechanism that washes that money exchanging it for white money unless it is being offered at a very reasonable discount. This has happened in Pakistan and is continuously happening around the globe as well. It is the common responsibility of the entire world to clampdown on corruption and money laundering.
Terrorist financing and money laundering continue to paralyse and disable economies, disfigure international finances and destruct lives around the world
Terrorism is directly linked to dirty money, money laundering, drug mafias and arms trafficking. A very important thing that we must ask ourselves: where do terrorists get their weapons, communication technology and financing from? These are three major aspects of terrorism. It is all about utilisation of money that is created through various crimes, and is then used to kill people. One of the main factors behind terrorism is dirty money and money laundering.
Secret accounts in banks in various countries are made to launder dirty money. Switzerland and a few other countries provide protection to black money. Global community and the UN must take action, seize those accounts and return money to the native country of the account holder to assist their government to meet some of their economic challenges.
Money laundering and corruption are important allegations in the accountability of politicians. If somebody is caught with 1,000 grams of hashish, chances are that he would go to jail; but if someone launders millions of dollars made in drug deals or any other crime, his mafia pays a fine, he goes home and sleeps in his own bed. Prisons are filled with people who have committed petty crimes, and big shots who have laundered their money live a lavish life.
Terrorist financing and money laundering continue to paralyse and disable economies, disfigure international finance and destruct lives around the world. The estimated amount that is laundered is between $500 billion and $1 trillion annually.
Pakistan is facing many economic challenges, inflation is peaking. One of the reasons for this is money laundering and corruption. Political elites and other powerful people loot the country. The government is failing in combating this menace; it has failed to bring back money from offshore accounts. It now seems that that was just political rhetoric to fool the people.
Government is trying to collect everything from the poor of the country. There is no socio-economic justice. Only the poor are taxed and asked to make sacrifices, the rich make money by hook or by crook. They open accounts in foreign banks and deposit their money there.
If the PTI government is seriously interested in combating money laundering, it needs to realise the importance of a centralised database connected to the NADRA. This database should have details about every individual, including their property, income and taxes. It should be connected to all government departments. This could a very useful way to combat money laundering.

Comments are closed.