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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

NBP wins terror-financing case in NY Court as FATF session begins

Terror charges worth billions of dollars penalty withdrawn, sparing Pakistan of potential issues it could have faced in the FATF.

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The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has won a high-profile terror-financing case in the Federal Court in New York, avoiding a potential bankruptcy.

Harold Brown Sr, the plaintiff, withdrew the case, dropping all charges against the bank, said media reports and diplomatic sources.

The International Disputes Unit of the Attorney General’s Office handled the case against NBP. The US Federal Reserve Board had announced a $20.4 million penalty against the NBP earlier this year.

The National Bank was also fined $35 million by the New York Department of Financial Services for repeated compliance failures, taking the combined penalties to $55 million.

The Express Tribune cited a senior official in the AGP as saying that had the National Bank lost the case, a fine of billions of dollars would have been imposed as a penalty on the bank, which would have meant that the bank had effectively gone bankrupt.

The official said the victory has also spared Pakistan of potential issues it could have faced in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Read more: Allies working to remove Pakistan from grey list

The plaintiff, in his filing, alleged that NBP provided financial support and banking services to several notorious terrorist groups and terrorist fundraisers, including Al-Qaeda.

It reported that the bank was accused of facilitating funds transfer some years ago for planning and executing an attack on a US military base in Afghanistan.

The Express Tribune said a Pakistani citizen residing in the US, Saeed Khan, sent money to his hometown Mangora (Swat), which was allegedly used later in terrorist activity in Afghanistan, killing nine soldiers.

The judge directed the parties to appear for the initial case management conference on April 2, 2021, and dismissed the complaint with leave to “replead.” After this conference, the plaintiff agreed to withdraw the charges.