Session with Mr. Talal Mahmud on Trade-based Money Laundering (TBML)

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Talal Mahmud, Executive Director Financial Crime Compliance, SC Bank, USA conducted a session on “Trade Based Money Laundering” at OICCI on Thursday, September 21, 2017. The key objective of the session was to familiarise the audience with the risks and pitfalls of trade-based money laundering and the ways to upgrade the compliance standards of their organisations to compete with the global markets.

Talal Mahmud started off by setting the context and highlighting the significance of money laundering at national and international levels, particularly in the emerging markets. He shared relevant statistics and it awed everyone to see that 2.7% of the global GDP is based on “laundered money”. He also clarified the differences between the documentary trade and the Open Account trade and most importantly, cash-based and trade-based money laundering.

After explaining the complexities involved in trade-based money laundering, Talal Mahmud shared several real-life cases by drawing on his rich professional experience. References to international publications and guiding papers, like Wolfsberg, ICC, BAFT and SCB, were made extensively. Throughout the session, the Speaker underscored the importance of understanding the dynamics and nature of every transaction, in order to resolve such cases. He also indicated the significant impact on the economy owing to weak detection of trade-based money laundering.

Towards the end, Talal pointed out the need for all the banks in Pakistan to comply with international standards and measures to deter the heinous crime of money-laundering. He also offered his help for anyone who needed further guidance on the matter. The meeting ended with an interactive and thought-provoking question and answer session which was highly appreciated by the members present.

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The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI) serves as the national point of reference for foreign investors in Pakistan. Established in 1860 as the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, it is the oldest of the existing chambers.