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UAE probes Pakistan bank for financing terrorism, money laundering

February 21, 2020 at 9:47 am

Central Bank of UAE [Achilver/wikipedia]

The Central Bank of the UAE is investigating the largest bank in Pakistan to determine whether it has violated laws prohibiting money laundering and financing terrorism.

The UAE Central Bank (CBUAE) said in a statement on Wednesday that it was “in contact” with the Pakistan banking regulator to verify possible violations regarding a Pakistani bank operating in the UAE.

A spokesman for CBUAE told Reuters that the statement refers to Habib Bank Ltd (HBL), the largest bank in Pakistan.

CBUAE added in the statement that it will take “appropriate regulatory action once we have verified the findings reported in the media to confirm if there was any violation to UAE’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combat of Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws and procedures”.

Bloomberg revealed last week that in 2018 Pakistan banking regulators found irregularities in HBL’s UAE operations and dealings with politically exposed clients.

The investigation comes at a time when a Paris unit of the Financial Action Task Force, a global financial watchdog, is investigating Pakistan for not adequately complying with global regulations on money laundering and terrorism financing.

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