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Financial crimes & money laundering

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The discussion on the Anti-Money Laundering Policies in the emerging era of digital currencies was discussed as a part of the Exordium Series of Mazeltov, Pakistan’s first think tank on innovation and justice. The Exordium Series take advantage of the on-going trend of utilizing social media and web-based platforms to bring together academics from different realms of political, legal, development and public policy academia to delve into the deeper foundations of what drives contemporary discourse on a myriad of issues. The participants were connected through an online discussion platform enabled by Mazeltov. Law students and legal fraternity enthusiasts participated in the interactive discussion.
The Key-Note Speaker for the event was Dr. Henry Hillman, the Senior Lecturer of Law at the University of West of England Bristol. He is the module leader of Commercial Law and Financial Crime and Regulation, lecturing on money laundering and cyber-enabled financial crime. Dr. Hillman delivered an overview of the concept of money laundering and the key measures, which have been developed to combat it.
He highlighted how Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) are preventive measures and talked about the UN and EU AML Policies. He focused on how developing financial technology and virtual currencies pose new threats as adequate infrastructure is yet not in place to combat the threats. Lastly, he considered how the development of the FATF as a global anti-money laundering leader could be seen as creating unfair expectations on jurisdictions such as Pakistan, which lack the resources available to founding FATF members.
The panelists included Angelique Juliette, who is the Legal Compliance Office for the UN Youth in Seychelles. Ms. Juliette highlighted that since Pan-African countries are still heavily reliant on a cash-based economy, tracing money laundering transactions tend to be more difficult. Almost economies are conceivably more open to Foreign Direct Investments in Africa, such as the setting up of multinational companies to mine the natural resources or to set up Offshore companies in countries like Mauritius or Seychelles, the states would prefer to allow investments into their economy to help run infrastructure projects and advancements into their economy to help run infrastructure projects and advancements in their country.
Moreover, there are significant disparities among the African States in defining financial crimes. Thus, in a nutshell, financial crime in Africa has and is on the rise to date. The reason for such a trend is the lack of a universally accepted definition to enable the various states to hone down on what fall under this massive umbrella of financial crime.
Lastly, a guest speaker from Nepal B.N Gharti, also joined the discussion. Gharti is a PhD Scholar, who has been in the Banking Industry of Nepal for about 25 years, provides consultancies to the Banks and Financial Institutions of Nepal and Bhutan and facilitates training to the Board of Directors, Senior Management and other staffs.
Gharti explained the operational risk, financial crime and money laundering to have a positive relationship, and the Banks and Financial institutions should formulate its risk management and AML program in such a way that it could be instrumental in mitigating operational risk, which further decreases financial crime and ultimately money laundering activities.
He highlighted that as a result of the increase of digital banking less customer visit the Banks. As a result, customer due diligence can not be done in the same manner, which has increased the possibility of operational risks like cyber threats, computer hacking, etc.
Established in 2020 by Barrister at Law, Rufruf Chaudhary, Mazeltov is devoted to developing a global knowledge repository on the human challenges and infrastructure confines. Mazeltov has a comprehensive approach for developing a sustainable harmonized legal system and solutions that can help the legal fraternity around the world. The solutions are developed by examining and debating public policy issues by the experts in respective countries. Mazeltov aims to bridge people, societies and justice by developing innovative practices, policy options and pertained procedures. The organization runs the initiative “Innovation and Justice” to create a global dialogue on novel justice processes, services, platforms, to help nations around the world achieve Sustainable Development Goals.