Anti-money laundering legislation; requirement of FATF: Farogh Naseem

ISLAMABAD, Aug 27 (APP): Federal Minister for Law and Justice, Barrister Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem has said that Anti-Money Laundering legislation was a requirement to meet the criteria laid out by Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

He expressed his views while giving an interview to a private TV channel the other day.
The Law Minister said, it was wrong to suggest that making arrests without warrant in money laundering cases was not a requirement of FATF.

According to Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) there were a number of offenses for which arrests could be made without warrants, he added.

In a statement issued here, the minister said, an arrest without warrant was not a violation of the Constitution added that police could arrest a suspect in cognizable offenses without a warrant whereas permission had to be sought by the court to apprehend the suspect non-cognizable offenses for questioning even in the countries like Canada and the United States, he said.

He noted that public was being misled to think the Bills that were being presented in the Senate were not connected with FATF or were not FATF requirements.

He said not a single clause was there which did not meet the criteria laid out by FATF. A foreign consultant was engaged to report on the points Pakistan had to cover to comply with FATF and the work on the legislation had been done in the light of the report by the foreign consultant as well as internal reports and the reports by FATF.

He said the rejection of two FATF related bills by the Senate was unfortunate and the bills will likely be presented in the joint session of the Parliament.

Dr. Farogh Naseem said that he explained clearly on the Floor of the House that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been an investigating agency according to AMLA which was enacted in 2010 and that the incumbent Government had nothing to do with it. NAB cannot be removed as an investigating agency in Anti-Money Laundering legislation, he added.

He said the Government was open to amend NAB as long as the process of accountability was not compromised.