New Money Laundering Threats in the Wake of COVID-19

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a halt, it has concomitantly boosted the criminal economy by creating unprecedented circumstances, easily exploitable by a few. This piece aims to highlight the financial vulnerabilities that have been created due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while briefly discussing the potential safeguards against the exploitation of such vulnerabilities, as suggested by FATF—the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

The Spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is a highly communicable disease, labelled as a modern-era pandemic and a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Spreading throughout the world, it has infected millions, and claimed the lives of more than 170,000 people. Countries all over are faced with the unenviable challenge of balancing the health of their citizens — with stay-at-home orders, closure of industries, etc — and the need to ensure that social safety nets to maintain the livelihoods of the poorest demographics.