$65 million from Malaysia Blocked by SBP

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Monday, 23 February 2015 08:50

ISLAMABAD: An unusually large transaction of about $65 million originating from Malaysia have been blocked by the State Bank after a foreign bank generated a suspicious transaction report (STR).

Standard Chartered Bank generated the STR under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and sent it to the finance ministry’s financial monitoring unit (FMU) and the SBP. The transaction was made to a joint account maintained by ZZ and NZ in Peshawar, informed sources told Media.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sought the blocking of the transaction under the law till complete satisfaction of the authorities concerned, according to the sources. They added that the money had been sent to Peshawar account for onward investment in the newly launched housing scheme in Karachi.

Under the AMLA, banks and financial institutions are required to report suspicious transactions to the FMU. The unit and the FIA are then required to coordinate legal formalities with the central bank to block payments or freeze accounts.

The National Action Plan on counter-terrorism requi­res strict monitoring of banking transactions and active coordination among federal and provincial investigation agencies. So far about 500 accounts are reported to have been frozen under the AMLA and the counter-terrorism financing law.

State Bank’s spokesman Khubaib Usmani said that since he had come to know about the transaction on the last working day, he would be able to say something after its verification on Monday.

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