A high-tech data centre has been inaugurated byThe State Bank of Pakistan here on Friday, in an effort to track down money laundering and terrorism financing, helping the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).
The data centre will enable the FMU to automate the collection and analyze suspicious financial transactions being received from banks, exchange companies and other reporting entities in Pakistan. Moreover, the integrated system will enhance the FMU’s capability of disseminating financial intelligence to designated law enforcement agencies.
Speaking to a local newspaper, Abid Qamar, Director SBP said the data centre would detect money laundering that was currently being done through formal banking channels. It was not meant for controlling money laundering that was taking place through illegal channels, such as physical movement of currency notes across international borders, he added.
“The extent of money laundering could not be determined right now, but we will have sufficient data in terms of the number of suspicious transactions and convictions in due course”
Previously, the analysis of financial data at the autonomous FMU was undertaken manually, which was slow and vulnerable to oversight. Now the customised software and high-precision equipment installed in the new data centre will allow the FMU to analyse suspicious transactions in a more robust, sophisticated and automated manner.
The British high commissioner and the UNODC representative accompanied SBP Governor Ashraf Mehmood Wathra at the inauguration.