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Pakistan Customs signs 22 MoUs with foreign customs departments for mutual cooperation

Pakistan Customs signs 22 MoUs with foreign customs departments for mutual cooperation

LAHORE: Pakistan Customs has so far signed 22 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with foreign governments/customs administrations for mutual cooperation in Customs matters.

Under these agreements, requests for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) have been sent to foreign counterparts for identification of linkages in currency seizures.

Ongoing initiatives of Pakistan Customs include further structuring of enforcement formations on the basis of ground demands, introduction of Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) at the international airports, and establishing a National Targeting Centre, which shall serve as an integrated database of all LEAs working against the menace of smuggling. With the introduction of these initiatives, Pakistan Customs is optimistic of ridding Pakistan economy of the malaise of currency smuggling, and the ancillary ills of TBML, black economy, tax evasion, etc.

To continue this momentum, a new Directorate of Cross Border Currency Movement (CBCM), has recently been established under Directorate General (I&I Customs), through Customs General Order (CGO) 04/2019 dated 06.05.2019 which has defined its charter and scope of functions such as, Analysis and profiling of currency seizures/declarations, suspected banking transactions, maintenance of seizure database and sharing of currency seizure cases with other LEAs, institution of money laundering cases emanating from suspicious banking transactions and investigation and prosecution of cases under AML Act, 2010, Customs Act, 1969 and Cr PC.

Under the said order, the guidelines have also been provided to the Investigative Officers for improving investigations such as investigation of accused/arrested person(s) association with any religious/political/social organization or group(s), travel history, past criminal record, professional history, etc., along with the motive/linkages of each currency smuggling case with any of the associated offence, identification of involvement of any foreign networks other than trans-national terrorist networks in the seizures data.

The seizing agency (MCC or Regional Directorate) also urged to investigate foreign linkages of the investigation at hand through Chief (International Customs)-FBR and investigate the source of funding for cash smuggling and the end user of the smuggling proceeds.