White-Collar Crime In Pakistan

White-Collar Crime In Pakistan
The menace of white-collar crime is plaguing Pakistan perpetually, and this results in losses of billions of rupees every year. Undoubtedly, it is critical to make social-defence strategies to curb, probe, and prosecute such offenders to this threat that is skyrocketing because this crime is much more conventional than street crime because society incurred the loss that ruins the entire community rather than simply stealing a single victim.

Many incidents revealed that the cause of fraud was an abuse of position; even recently, the NAB in Pakistan detained many government workers who exploited their executive power for personal financial benefit.

According to Gallup Pakistan, almost 75% of Pakistanis view corruption as problematic for Pakistan. Interestingly, money laundering is the most common practice in Pakistan which is committed by the process of placement, layering, and integration using modern techniques, by doing this any culprit could knock out the authorities and can get himself scot-free as well. These are the crimes that are prone to the country’s national treasury, where a cash-strapped Pakistan is already on the verge of bankruptcy and is going through the worst politico-economic turmoil in history for more than 75 years.

However, such financial crimes just act like adding fuel to a fire which results in a drastic loss to the country’s exchequer. Under such critical circumstances, our politicians, concerned quarters and other regulating bodies should pay heed to this from going further economic collapse because of its severity. The impact deepens when the concerned authorities are duped by these corporate criminals, who evade taxes by using the relevant corporations and individuals.

Therefore, there’s a dire need to inspect these offences and crimes in Pakistan with the help of legal researchers and criminologists. As a result, we must reassess the current (AML-CFT) system and resolve the gaps in the legal and enforcement framework to bring it in line with global best practices.

Considering the foregoing, to combat this menace, central governmental departments implemented several laws but remain vainly. The primary causes of professional criminality are a lack of transparency, low self-esteem, and poor governance and administration. The NAB, FBR, FIA and Pakistan's Criminal Justice system are significant institutions and legislation in dealing with these offenses in Pakistan. So, foremost, these unlawful and morally repugnant mindsets must be transformed before the laws can be useful to them, but for that, impactful cooperation of Domestic and International Obligations is required, along with a reformation of the people's attitudes and conventional sentiments, with the effective adherence and activities being conducted by the authorities through many legitimate initiatives.

As society progresses, we must modify existing regulations and institutions to combat corruption and strive for our society's welfare and development. The goal of sentencing is to reform the criminal and prevent the offender from committing the crime again. Besides this, media outlets, journalists, and other appropriate platforms must raise public awareness about these atrocities with the help of meaningful research. Special tribunals, akin to Fast Track courts, should be established that impose sentences of up to ten years. Tighter rules, rules, and legislation must be enacted, with improved execution and implementation.

There must be a ministerial body at both provincial and federal levels in Pakistan that only deals with the matter of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, bribery, asset beyond means, illicit outflow, online scams, and securities fraud. By doing this, one can say that not to a greater extent, but perhaps, 40-50% of the graft offenses, and others related to white-collar crime can be eliminated from society although, it’s a highly challenging and arduous task for the concerned authorities. Whether he’s a tycoon, etc. if he would be charged for the alleged corruption or money laundering and if proven then he/she must be skinned alive and also put behind bars so that this would set an epitome for a lifetime to others as well that’s why remorse is a fruit of crime. The primary goal of a country's legal system is to provide equal justice to all its residents without any prejudice.

The writer holds an LLM from University of Lahore and is a freelance columnist.