Pakistan to stay on FATF’s grey list till June 2020

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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will likely give Pakistan some more time until June to achieve full compliance with its 27-point action plan and secure exit from its grey list failing which it could slip into the blacklist.

Informed sources from Paris told Dawn News that Pakistan’s performance vis-a-vis the action plan had been reviewed at the working group meetings.

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The Paris-based anti-terror financing watchdog will issue a formal statement today on the conclusion of the group meetings and plenary that continued from February 16 to 21.

The sources told the daily that Pakistan has been asked to take action on eight following areas; first, asking it to demonstrate that remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML/CFT (anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism) violations relating to terrorist financing (TF) risk management and TF standard obligations,

Second, demonstrate that competent authorities are cooperating and taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services.

In the third pointer, the watchdog also urged the country to demonstrate the implementation of cross-border currency and BNI controls at all ports of entry, including applying effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

Fourth, demonstrate that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF activity and that TF investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities and those acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities.

Fifth, demonstrate that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

Sixth, demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1,267 and 1,373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable) and prohibiting access to funds and financial services.

Seven, demonstrate enforcement against TF standard violations, including administrative and criminal penalties, and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases.

Eight, demonstrate that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated persons are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources.

The FATF has advised Pakistan to continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies with 100 per cent compliance by June 2020 or else it will be put on the blacklist.

On the basis of this legal framework, Pakistan’s performance would be judged in the next FATF plenary in October 2020.

On Tuesday, the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), a part of the FATF, took up the matter to evaluate whether the South Asian nation has taken sufficient steps to curb terror funding and implemented its action plan to fight the global menace.

A day before, on Monday, Islamabad had submitted a report on action regarding the implementation of the watchdog’s plan of action during the Paris meeting. More than 800 representatives from 205 countries and jurisdictions around the world including the IMF, UN, World Bank, and other organisations, will take part in the meeting.

FATF, in 2018, had placed Pakistan on the grey list and the watchdog has already granted Islamabad an extension till February 2020 during a meeting in October last year.

The Pakistani delegation was led by Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar.

(With ANI Inputs)

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