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FATF to Review Crypto Assets of Pakistan: DG FMU

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to carry out an increased evaluation of Pakistan and other countries on virtual assets and investments of the citizens in the next few years, said Director General Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), Pakistan Lubna Farooq Malik.

Speaking at the Conference “Financial Crimes in the Digital Age” organized by Eastnets in collaboration with Dellsons Associates, Malik said FATF has announced to increase its focus on crypto assets and investment, which can be exploited as channels for money laundering, terror financing, and financial crimes.

“The government will have to explain to FATF its dealing with cryptocurrencies as the global watchdog will also review the virtual assets of the country,” she remarked. Pakistan is not the only country but developed states are also facing multiple challenges when it comes to dealing with cryptocurrencies within the geographical boundaries, DG FMU said. It is evident that a significant number of Pakistanis have made investments in virtual assets despite a strict ban, she added.

DG FMU urged all stakeholders, including banking regulators and banks to work together to be successful in the FATF’s review while addressing the emerging issues of financial crime.

Speaking as a guest of honor, Federal Banking Ombudsman Sirajuddin Aziz said the banks should continue to upgrade their systems towards strengthening the data security of their customers, besides bringing reforms to plug the loopholes in the practices and mechanisms that made the data of customers accessible to white collar criminals.

He mentioned that victims of financial crimes in Pakistan are highly qualified, ironically, as against fraudsters who are less educated but tactical in deceiving the public into getting their credentials to steal money from bank accounts; therefore, the need for awareness among bankers and customers of banks is high and ongoing.

Asaan Bank Accounts are frequently reported to be used for fraudulent activities as organized criminals are exploiting this facility for their ease, unfortunately, due to the negligence of banks in compliance with KYC of customers, Federal Banking Ombudsman said.

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ProPK Staff