Policy on Financial Investigation of Terrorism Cases by LEAs:
NACTA in consultation with the stakeholders devised the first standalone policy along with implementation plan of financial investigations of terrorism cases by LEAs with the approval of Prime Minister of Pakistan, which was circulated on 22nd January, 2019. This Policy encompasses important areas of financial investigations such as proactive financial investigations, parallel financial investigations, implementation of UNSC sanctions regimes, adoption of risk-based approach in investigations, access to widest range of information, broad investigative techniques, inter-agency coordination and international cooperation, etc. The Policy emphasizes more inclusiveness in financial investigations by LEAs by making it mandatory for all JITs in terrorism cases to conduct parallel financial investigations and enabling them to seek assistance from FIA, FMU and financial regulators. The Implementation Plan of the Policy provides specific actions to be taken by LEAs and competent authorities.
National TF Risk Assessment:
NACTA led and conducted the first standalone National Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment and TF chapter of updated ML/TF National Risk Assessment. The TF Risk Assessment was finalized in 2018 including a subsequent Addendum in April 2019 which reflected an expanded assessment of the key terrorist organizations. The assessment was subsequently combined, updated and integrated into the national ML/TF Risk Assessment (NRA) in September 2019.
The NRA 2019 covers Pakistan’s inherent ML/TF threats and vulnerabilities, with a particular focus on the inherent risk of terrorism and TF threats that the country is facing, with a view to ensure that the risks are appropriately identified and analyzed. NRA provides a detail insight into the sources of the funding of terrorist organizations and the channels used for transfer or movement of funds. The NRA also takes into account the terrorist organizations of relevance to Pakistan, the TF threat emanating from each organization and the transnational aspects of funding.
The TF Risk Assessment, addendum and NRA were widely disseminated to all LEAs, financial regulators, financial institutions and other authorities. NACTA has also conducted a series of workshops for the LEAs and other relevant authorities to enhance their understanding of the TF risks in line with the TF Risk Assessments.
NACTA envisaged and coordinated for a Multilateral MOU between LEAs, FMU, and Intelligence Agencies in the light of decision taken during 11th meeting of National Task Force on CFT for enhancing cooperation in CFT matters and sharing of financial intelligence. The MOU was signed in NACTA Head Quarters on 9th April 2019 between fourteen (14) agencies i.e. FIA, provincial CTDs, FMU, Inland Revenue-FBR, Customs, ANF, NAB, intelligence agencies and NACTA. Later on , in 2020 , 11 more agencies were added through an addendum.
The Multilateral MOU has provided an umbrella platform to all the federal and provincial law enforcement, intelligence and other agencies to improve upon mutual cooperation. It has come up as an effective mechanism of inter-agency coordination at operational level. Since signing of the Multilateral MOU, there has been a consistent increase in sharing of intelligence and information by financial institutions, FMU and other authorities with the LEAs, leading to a wide range of TF investigations and prosecutions. The MOU had also led to provision of mutual assistance in TF investigations amongst the LEAs.
Guidelines on UNSCR 1373:
Pakistan is under legal obligation to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1373, on account of being a responsible member of the United Nations. NACTA has issued detailed Guidelines on Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1373 in 2018 which covers all the aspects of TFS, including the UNSC obligations, legal framework, authorities for compliance, freezing of moveable and immovable assets, etc. The Guidelines provide step-by-step approach of how the list of proscribed organizations and persons under UNSCR 1373 go to the relevant authorities and how the responsibility is handed down to the stakeholders.
The Guidelines can be used to raise awareness amongst the officials in each relevant department, agency, or organization, etc. concerning the actions required to implement the notifications issued by the Ministry of Interior or Provincial Home Departments to give effect to UNSCR 1373 with respect to the proscribed organizations or persons respectively. Further, a number of awareness sessions on UNSCR 1373 have been conducted by NACTA for the stakeholders.
In September 2020, these Guidelines have been further updated to incorporate recent amendments in the ATA, 1997 and updated procedures for implementation of Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS) obligations under UNSCR-1373 regime. The Guidelines aim to foster a common understanding that each relevant department, agency and reporting entity has an obligation for implementation of UNSCR-1373 as envisaged in the Resolution and ATA, 1997. The Guidelines have been circulated to all concerned for strict compliance and are available on NACTA website.
SOP on the Investigator-Prosecutor Cooperation in TF Cases:
The association of prosecutors with a TF investigation from the start of a case ensures that the investigating officer effectively collects and preserves evidence in a manner that withstands the court scrutiny. The successful prosecution of TF cases requires continuous engagement between investigators and prosecutors for which different practices were followed in the provinces.
To standardize the investigator–prosecutor cooperation in all provinces, NACTA with the assistance of Punjab CTD and Prosecution Department has developed and disseminated an “SOP on the Investigator-Prosecutor Cooperation in TF Cases” on 11th November 2019 to ensure the full engagement of prosecutors with TF investigations from the inquiry and investigation stage and well before the scrutiny of evidence at the time of submission of challan (indictment) to the court. The purpose is to ensure that identical ground rules and consistent practices are followed in all provinces. The SOP clearly spells out the attachment of dedicated prosecutors with the CTDs for TF investigations. The SOP has been widely disseminated to all concerned LEAs and other authorities.
All the four provinces now have special prosecutors attached with Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATCs) for the prosecution and trial of TF cases. These Prosecutors have been trained in TF investigations and prosecutions and prosecutor-investigator cooperation. Moreover, each province has dedicated prosecutors attached with the CTDs to back up CTDs during investigations, legal and procedural advice, scrutiny of evidence, trial, appeals, etc. in TF cases.
Legislation on CFT:
CFT wing of NACTA provides regular input to the Ministry of Interior and other authorities on legislations related to CFT. A number of amendments in various provisions of ATA, 1997 have been proposed and approved by the Parliament. These provisions relate to prohibition of funding for proscribed organizations and proscribed persons, punishments of natural and legal persons on TF offences, confiscation of properties on conviction of TF charges, violation of assets freezing obligations, composition of JITs, etc.
NACTA also provides input on CFT related amendments in other laws and rules according to legal and operational requirements to augment the national effort of combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
Directive on Transnational TF Risks:
Based on transnational analysis, NACTA issued a specific Directive on 6th August 2019 to all competent authorities, including LEAs, regulators of financial institutions and reporting entities, to adopt an effective risk-based approach for the UN listed, or domestically proscribed, entities and their affiliates. The Directive takes into account all possible sources of their funding and channels for movement/transfer of funds, formal and informal, inwards or outwards, in line with the TF risks and the transnational analysis.
Transnational TF Threat Profiles of Key Terrorist Organizations:
With a view to better support the specific operational needs of relevant competent authorities in mitigating the TF risks arising from the terrorist organizations that are posing significant TF threats, the paper on ‘Transnational TF Threat Profiles of Key Terrorist Organizations’ was prepared in November, 2019 and disseminated to concerned authorities by NACTA. The paper provides detailed TF threat information including all relevant transnational factors on each of the key organizations. The comprehensive quantitative and qualitative information gathered from the NRA exercise was leveraged and updated as needed, which included all possible information sources such as financial and other intelligence from domestic and foreign sources, investigated and prosecuted cases, international typologies, UN reports and other open-sourced reports from other countries.
This paper was a result of strong cooperation and collaboration amongst all the relevant authorities in Pakistan, including LEAs and supervisors of financial/other institutions. The paper provides a uniform documented basis for their continuing understanding of TF risks facing Pakistan that were reached in the conclusions of NRA 2019, and to further inform and enhance their effective risk-based supervisory and investigative activities at the operational level.
Guidance on ML/TF Risks in Covid-19 Scenario:
In light of the FATF guidance and advisories for a timely and coordinated response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on AML/CFT efforts and the application of FATF Standards, NACTA prepared a comprehensive Guidance covering the possible areas on ML/TF risks in Covid-19 scenario. This includes and not limited to, the misuse of charitable sectors, cybercrimes/social media, virtual assets, financial frauds, banking scam, recruitments by criminals/terrorist organizations, narco-trade, etc. The Directive was widely circulated to all the LEAs, relevant provincial authorities, financial regulators like SBP, SECP, etc. to increase awareness about the ML/TF risks in the new scenario for effective mitigation.
Directive on International Cooperation in TF Matters:
The TF risks posed by terrorist organizations warrants law enforcement agencies and other authorities to pursue international linkages of any TF risks by seeking international cooperation and providing in-time quality response on incoming requests from other countries.
NACTA on 20th April 2020 issued a Directive on International Cooperation in Terrorist Financing Matters to support and reinforce Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and informal international cooperation for targeting, investigating and prosecuting financing of terrorism. The Directive lists down detailed procedures that should be followed by LEAs in accordance with the applicable laws and international standards to pursue international cooperation in TF matters.
NACTA SOP on JITs including International Cooperation:
The duty of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is to make a positive and in-depth probe into the matter assigned to them by maintaining the highest standard of professionalism and best practices in the field of counter terrorism and terrorist financing investigations. NACTA’s specifies Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued on 19th September, 2018 for constitution and functioning of JITs in cases registered under the ATA, 1997, and the same shall be followed by all officers working in the JITs during the investigation of terrorism cases. The SOP focuses mainly on the investigations / inquiries into terrorist financing cases which shall be an integral part of the investigations in every terrorism case. All the JITs for investigating terrorism cases shall comply with the processes and procedures set out in this document for the investigations of terrorist financing.
In continuation of NACTA’s earlier SOPs for JITs, a revised SOPs for Investigators was issued in March 2020 in order to reinforce international cooperation. The revised and improved SOPs, inter alia, requires LEAs to analyze and examine the linkages of offences committed in a foreign country, links with foreign entities or individuals and initiate international cooperation.
Development of National TF Database:
NACTA in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and in consultation with provincial CTDs and other stakeholders has developed a comprehensive TF database, which is available via secure web portal. This comprehensive database has all the features, which are required for the TF analysis in compliance to standard norms and practices, including the FATF requirements.
In TF database, the statistics of TF investigations and prosecutions are being maintained by respective agencies with real time access to NACTA for analyzing TF activities in line with the risks. The LEAs can also utilize the newly developed database for making their internal analysis on the efforts towards TF investigations & prosecutions for achieving effectiveness.
Raising of CFT Units in CTDs:
Counter Terrorism Departments (CTDs) in provinces have established CFT Units to help in financial aspects of terrorism-related investigations. NACTA is consistently encouraging the CTDs and coordinating with them for capacity building of investigators and imparting trainings in the areas of terrorist financing, money laundering, assets tracing and other necessary skills in the realm of financial investigations.
While meeting Pakistan’s international obligations, these CFTUs were effectively utilized to seeks details, case studies and updates related to TF investigations/ convictions. NACTA has also conducted awareness sessions for CTFUs to better understand TF investigations methods, techniques and provided guidance that how to enhance prosecution and conviction level in TF cases.
Model Charity Law:
In order to streamline the functions and registration of NPOs/Charities though one effective law, and catering to AML/CFT requirements, NACTA has developed a model law for NPOs/Charities for their effective registration, regulation, audit and enforcement of penal provisions in case of violations with the ultimate aim to protect their misuse for terrorist financing. The model law was shared with all provinces for consideration. All the provinces have now enacted provincial Charity laws and established Charity Commissions to monitor and regulate NPOs/Charities through a single platform.
Orientation and Capacity Building Programmes:
- Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) Project:
UNODC Office Pakistan in collaboration with NACTA implemented a three-year project entitled “Support to Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT)” for improving the skills and knowledge of officials from the Counter Terrorism Departments (CTDs) and Prosecution Department while enhancing coordination between NACTA and provincial authorities for developing their capacity on threat assessments and strategic analysis. The components of CFT have been included in the PACT Project with UNODC which was prioritized and executed with the assistance of European Union. This project imparted trainings to the investigators, prosecutors and judiciary through a series of training workshops.
- Strengthening the Response of Pakistan to Counter Financing of Terrorism Project:
Another project with UNODC, with the support of Japan, for the capacity building of all the LEAs across the country has been undertaken in 2018/19. A series of training programs have been undertaken in this project for LEAs, prosecutors, judiciary and other stakeholders.
- Symposium on CFT in Collaboration with British High Commission:
A Symposium on Counter Terrorism Financing was organized jointly by NACTA and Pakistan and British High Commission in Islamabad on 8th March, 2019. The event was attended by subject specialists from the Federal and Provincial departments including FIA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FBR, ANF, SBP, FMU, SECP, provincial CTDs, prosecution departments, intelligence agencies, etc. Besides detailed presentation by MOFA and NACTA, the experts from UK elaborated UK approach towards combating terrorist financing, reactive parallel financial investigations in terrorism cases, terrorism financing typologies, etc. in his various sessions during the day.
- CFT Trainings in Collaboration with International Partners:
The project was initiated in collaboration with UNODC and financing assistance of Japan. A total of 16 workshops were organized in which more than 400 judges, investigators and prosecutors participated. The scope of project included CFT trainings LEAs, Investigator-Prosecutor workshops on CFT, Workshop on Mock Investigation and Trial of Terrorism Financing and Related Serious Offences and Specialized Workshops on Countering the Financing of Terrorism.
- NACTA Outreach Sessions for LEAs:
NACTA carried out outreach sessions for LEAs, NPOs and other stakeholders in all the four provinces to sensitize them about National Risk Assessment and Policy for Financial Investigations. These interactive outreach sessions were conducted in all the four provinces and Islamabad with members of federal/provincial LEAs and intelligence agencies, in which all the dimensions of TF risk were thoroughly discussed and participants’ queries answered. Federal and provincial LEAs also held further outreach sessions within their respective departments disseminating the TF risk understanding to all officer levels, especially those involved in TF investigations. Provincial CTDs have conducted further outreach sessions to strengthen the understanding of TF risks, including transnational TF threats, within their departments.
- NACTA Outreach Sessions for NPOs:
As part of continued outreach to NPOs on risks related to terrorist financing abuse, NACTA in collaboration with Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) and Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC) undertook a series of activities/ sessions across the country.