ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arab have agreed to exchange the information to control illicit flow of currency.

A five-member Saudi Customs Authority officials visited Federal Board of Revenue here today and met with FBR team. Muhammad AlNuaim, Deputy Governor of Security Affairs was leading the Saudi Customs delegation. Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi was leading the Pakistani side. Both sides shared their experiences in law enforcement domain and further explored avenues of future cooperation.

Both sides agreed to exchange of Information on real time basis regarding values of goods originating from both countries. They also agreed to exchange of intelligence based information to effectively control illicit flow of currency. The delegations also agreed to development of authorized economic cooperation program between the countries.

They also agreed for profiling of advance passenger information. The customs authorities of the both countries will also cooperate for arresting the senders and recipients of drugs. Both parties will exchange of post seizure and arrest investigations. They also agreed to designate contact officers for mutual cooperation.

Both delegation said that narcotics, smuggling and under invoicing/over invoicing are the primary sources of illicit financial flows. They also agreed that no country can cope with these cross border challenges without ensuring international cooperation. Therefore, there is a dire need to support each other by all possible means of cooperation.

Saudi delegation

AlNuaim informed that the Saudi government has recently introduced new monetary limits on currency. The Pakistani visitors don’t know exactly about this law, he further said. He requested the Pakistani side that they should share this information through launching of public awareness.

The Saudi delegation showed keen interest in the project of National Single Window, National Targeting Center. It also took interest in the Advance Passenger Information Systems (APIS).

Pakistani delegation

Mr. Javed Ghani, Member (Customs-Policy) briefed the Saudi delegation about the scope of the bilateral cooperation in this regard.

He informed that the control of currency smuggling is one of the prime priorities of present regime. Therefore, the Pakistan Govt made mandatory to declaration of currency. The FBR has taken various legal and administrative actions to improve interdictory regime against currency smuggling.

Jawwad Uwais Agha gave brief details of the National Single Window (NSW). He told the delegates that this initiative provides a complete framework for intra agency cooperation in Pakistan. The delegation was apprised that at national level, Risk Based Mitigation Secretary (RBMS) has been evolved after taking due input from all stake holder agencies including Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Anti Narcotics Force, Airport Security Force and Pakistan Customs. Under RBMS, a totally new institutional apparatus has been setup with a dedicated Directorate, namely, Cross Border Currency Movement (CBMC) within the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence & Investigation to address the risks of cash smuggling. This measure has turned out very successful as in FY 2018-2019 total 487 million rupees were seized under its intelligence sharing against 157 million rupees in the FY 2017-2018.

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