FinCEN Files: Pakistani Banks involved in suspicious transactions

Lahore, 22nd September: Six Pakistani banks have been named in a new global scandal for carrying out suspicious transactions. 

An investigation by ICIJ revealed on Monday that there were as many as 29 suspicious transactions that took place between Pakistani banks and the rest of the world.

According to the Mettis Link News (MLN), the investigation titled Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ‘FinCEN Files’ further revealed that nearly USD 1,942,560 were received by Pakistan and USD 425,000 were sent to various parts across the world.

Furthermore, up to 6 Pakistani Banks, namely Allied Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited, Bank Alfalah Limited, Standard Chartered Bank, and Habib Bank Limited, were identified as potentially suspicious in the FinCEN Files documents.

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Allied Bank topped the list for making 12 transactions out of the total 29, with receipts totalling USD 1,001,170. UBL, on the other hand, made 8 transactions for receiving USD 399,620.

Habib Metro allegedly made 2 transactions for receiving USD 74,980, whereas Standard Charted made 4 transactions for receiving USD 199,860.

Reportedly, Habib Bank Limited was part of only one transaction wherein it received USD 167,450.

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Bank Alfalah emerged as the only Pakistani bank that was a part of a two-way transaction, as it sent UD 452,000 and received USD 99,480.

MLN further revealed that these transactions were processed via 2 US based banks, which filed suspicious activity reports with FinCEN.

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The report was based on 2,100 leaked suspicious activity reports (SARs), between the year 1999 and 2017, during which the global banks moved more than $2 trillion. This amount was moved in payments they believed were suspicious and indicated bank clients in more than 170 countries who were involved in illegal transactions.

Mettis Link News reported that the figures include $514 billion at JPMorgan Chase and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank.

Meanwhile, some banks said the transactions happened a long time ago, and they had since put strict checks in place. Moreover, the reports revealed problems with the monitoring system related to money laundering and other criminal activity.

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