A series of workshops for Counter Terrorism Departments (CTDs) on terrorism financing investigative techniques were organized in all Provinces and Territories of Pakistan. NACTA in collaboration with UNODC and European Union organized two-day workshops in seven cities during February and March 2021 in Islamabad (22-23 Feb), Peshawar (25-26 Feb), Lahore (1-2 March), Karachi (4-5 March), Quetta (8-9 March) and Muzaffarabd (15-16 March) and due to adverse weather conditions the Gilgit Baltistan workshop was moved to Islamabad and was held on 18-19 March.
In total, 146 officials from ranks of constables to superintendents of police participated in these workshops. Almost all of the participants were from the investigation wing of CTDs and the workshops provided them with an opportunity to build upon their experience of handling core terrorism cases to inculcate techniques and best practices from countering the financing of terrorism.
The workshops were a mixed blend of concepts, laws, and practice. Each day was divided into various sessions which included lectures, group activities and simulations of case studies. The content started with laying foundation of Pakistan’s obligations under international framework followed by discussion on recent legislative amendments in domestic laws and instruments related to terrorism financing. After setting the stage, participants were given case-studies to apply relevant laws to given facts and situations and identify the elements of statutes that corresponded to these facts.
The workshops then moved forward into the development a model for conducting parallel financial investigation and pro-active financial investigations by introducing the categories of financing activities and various instruments with which these can be captured and prosecuted. The sources of financing were discussed from an investigators’ perspective and various techniques were practiced through cases studies to showcase how analysis can be performed.
Later on, the investigators were trained on the processes, skills and data management specially in developing customized checklists and performas. Various sources and databases which are available to investigators in the country were presented and deliberated upon with a specific reference to the new Mutual Legal Assistance law for enhancing international cooperation. In the end, the participants were handed over a mock parallel financial investigation as Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and assigned different tasks within the investigation stages. In the last session of each workshop groups presented their investigation strategy and highlighted upon each step they would undertake when investigating cases of terrorism financing.
The participants appreciated this initiative of NACTA in holding specialized workshops for all CTDs with an objective to develop a harmonized approach in terrorism financing cases across the country.