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Policing Money Laundering: A Case Study of Afghanistan

Basharat Hussain & Mohammad Omar Safi

Abstract
Money laundering and its prevention is a significant issue in many countries. Various
attempts for policing money laundering have been taken at different levels; however, the
problem of money laundering is steadily increasing. Based on secondary data, this research
paper examines the trends and issues in the anti-money laundering efforts in Afghanistan. It
recognizes that money laundering has acquired the status of a global problem and
Afghanistan is not an exception. It looks for the Afghan government initiatives designed to
control money laundering and terrorist financing. Whilst the focus of study is Afghanistan,
this study also takes into account the impact of international regulations (such as UN and
FATF) on the way money laundering is tackled in Afghanistan. It is argued that the lack of
political will of the government is a major obstacle in the policing of money laundering in
Afghanistan. The Afghan parliament has yet to pass the proposed legislations on money
laundering and financing terrorism. In addition, there is serious shortage of human resources
in all government departments. The information sharing mechanism among different
government departments is extremely poor. There is lack of trust between Da Afghanistan
Bank and the Afghan National Police with respect to sharing information related to money
laundering cases. The Afghan National Police are often accused of being corrupt and have
links with criminal gangs. The proper mechanism for training police officers with respect to
money laundering investigations is missing. There was no system for keeping official
statistics on money laundering cases in Afghanistan. This study argues that the policing of
money laundering in Afghanistan requires an effective and a well integrated multi-agency
approach where information pertaining to money laundering cases must flow with proper
accountability system.

Keywords: Money Laundering, Financing Terrorism, Globalization, International Standards,
Hawala Remittance System