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Pakistan arrests 75 clerics for financial crimes

March 31, 2015

Pakistan claims to have frozen bank accounts that were used to funnel the equivalent of 100 million USD to terrorists and money launderers. Pakistan has also “recovered” $1 million from “clerics” and banned organizations. One hundred and fifty people, half of whom are Muslim clerics, have been arrested for hawala, money laundering, or other suspicious transactions during an unspecified timeframe.  From The Express Tribune:

National Action Plan: Over Rs 10 billion in foreign terror and AML funds frozen

By Zahid Gishkori

Published: March 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Authorities in Pakistan have frozen a number of accounts used to funnel Rs 10.2 billion in cash to terror and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) suspects, officials overseeing the National Action Plan (NAP) told The Express Tribune.

Law enforcement agencies also recovered Rs 101.7 million either from clerics or workers of banned organisations, they said.

These actions — taken with the assistance of the State Bank of Pakistan — are part of the overall efforts to throttle the flow of foreign funding to terrorists and proscribed organisations in the country.

Nine days after militants mounted a bloody attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, the government formulated the action plan in a bid to purge the country of all kinds of terrorism.

“To choke terror funding [in all shapes] is our top priority, this is our strategy to weaken foreign-funded militants,” said Hamid Ali Khan, national coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta). Under UN Security Council resolutions 1,267 and 1,373, he explained, Pakistan is bound to stop terror funding.

Another senior official of the interior ministry said both the UN resolutions bound member states not only to take measures against terrorists but also establish a global sanctions regime against designated individuals and entities associated with notorious global terror networks.

The official, who did not want to be named, revealed that civilian and intelligence agencies have arrested 150 people, half of them clerics, in violation of laws dealing with hawala, hundi, suspicious transactions and anti-money laundering by registering cases against 130 individuals who were getting money from foreign countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Australia, the US, the UK, Hong Kong, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait…

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