Islamabad, Feb 23: A top Pakistani bank has blocked an unusually large transaction of about USD 65 million originating from Malaysia after a foreign bank generated a suspicious transaction report (STR).
The Standard Chartered Bank generated the STR under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and sent it to the finance ministrys financial monitoring unit (FMU) and the State Bank of Pakistan which blocked the transaction, Dawn reported.
"The transaction was made to a joint account maintained by ZZ and NZ in Peshawar," it said. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) sought the blocking of the transaction under the law till complete satisfaction of the authorities concerned.
Citing sources, the paper said the money had been sent to the Peshawar account for onward investment in the newly launched housing scheme in Karachi. Under the AMLA, banks and financial institutions are required to report suspicious transactions to the FMU. The unit and the FIA are then required to coordinate legal formalities with the central bank to block payments or freeze accounts.
The National Action Plan adopted after Peshawar school massacre in December requires strict monitoring of banking transactions and active coordination among federal and provincial investigation agencies.
So far about 500 accounts are reported to have been frozen under the AMLA and the counter-terrorism financing law.