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FinCEN Files: Six Pakistani banks named in global money laundering list

FinCEN Files Pakistani banks

A special investigation titled FinCEN Files was carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Buzzfeed News where it found at least 29 suspicious transactions of around 2.5 million dollars were made by six Pakistani banks.

The suspicious transactions being considered as money laundering of around $2.5 million are all related to Pakistan. Those major 6 banks are, United Bank Limited (UBL), Habib Bank Limited, Allied Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, Habib Metropolitan Bank, and Bank Alfalah.

Read more: Pakistani banks lost billions of rupees in over a dozen cyberattacks

All of these suspicious 29 transactions were done during the period of 2011 and 2012 year according to the investigation report.

Furthermore, the FinCEN Files that mentioned Pakistani banks related to Pakistan’s suspicious 29 transactions revealed that $1,942,560 amount of transaction was received while $452,000 transactions were sent that includes at least 12 suspicious transactions by Allied Bank, four transactions by Standard Chartered Bank, Allied Bank, one by Habib Bank Limited, eight flagged transactions by United Bank Limited and, three by Bank Alfalah.

The investigation details by Buzzfeed News, shared with the ICIJ revealed that global banks to the US Treasury Department’s Intelligence Unit, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network known as FinCEN, filed over 2,100 suspicious activity reports.

Buzzfeed News wrote in its coverage of the investigative report, “Laws that were meant to stop financial crime have instead allowed it to flourish. So long as a bank files a notice that it may be facilitating criminal activity, it all but immunizes itself and its executives from criminal prosecution. The suspicious activity alert effectively gives them a free pass to keep moving the money and collecting the fees.”

The report also revealed that between 1999 and 2017, around $2 trillion have been moved by the Global banks in suspicious payments, flagging clients in more than 170 countries, identified as being indulged in an illicit transaction.

However, Pakistan has been included in the grey list of the FATF that is money laundering watchdog and is working on compliance with the action plan to ensure that it saves itself from being pushed ahead into the blacklist.

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