Beware jewellers and real estate agents: Big Brother is watching

Shahnawaz AkhterWeb Editor

30th Jul, 2021. 03:26 pm

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has set up a dedicated office for the monitoring of undocumented transactions of real estate agents and jewellers under the conditions imposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), sources said on Friday.

The revenue board has taken initiatives to identify the use of black money in businesses of jewellery and real estate under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010.

In this regard, the FBR, through a notification issued on July 28, 2021, established a Directorate General of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs).

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the revenue board is responsible for ensuring that the Directorate General of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions, including real estate agents, dealers in precious metals and stones, and the FBR-supervised accountants comply with the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism obligations.

The sources said the federal government had legislated to monitor DNFBPs in December 2020 to address the risk of proliferation financing and to comply with the requirements of the UNSCR and FATF’s recommendations.

The FBR has issued the guidelines for real estate agents and jewellers for reporting suspicious transactions, while dealing with their customers.

Further, to identify a suspicion that could be indicative of the money laundering or terrorism financing, FMU has prepared the red flags indicators that are specially intended as an aid for the real estate sector.

These red flags may appear suspicious on their own; however, it may be considered that a single red flag would not be a clear indicator of the potential ML/TF activity.

However, a combination of these red flags, in addition to the analysis of overall financial activity and client profile may indicate a potential ML/TF activity.

To speed up the monitoring activities, the FBR, while establishing the directorate, posted staff simultaneously.

The sources in the Regional Tax Office (RTO) Karachi said it had organised awareness sessions with the real estate agents and jewellers to apprise them about the reporting requirement under the statute.

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