FATF retains Pakistan in grey list; admits progress

FATF retains Pakistan in grey list; admits progress

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday kept Pakistan in the grey list or increased monitoring list with an acknowledgment of completing almost all the action plans.

Pakistan has been on the grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018.

Announcing the decision, FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer said that Pakistan had to complete two concurrent action plans with a total of 34 items. “It has now addressed or largely addressed 30 of the items,” he said.

“Its most recent action plan from June this year, which largely focused on money laundering deficiencies, was issued after the FATF’s regional partner — the Asia Pacific Group — identified a number of serious issues.

“Overall, Pakistan is making good progress on this new action plan. Four out of the seven items are now addressed or largely addressed.”

He said that this included showing that financial supervisors are conducting on-site and off-site checking on non-financial sector businesses and enacting legislative amendments to improve international cooperation.

Commenting on the action plan devised in 2018 which focused on terror financing, the FATF president said that Pakistan was still assessed to have largely addressed 26 out of 27 items.

“Pakistan has taken a number of important steps but needs to further demonstrate that investigations and prosecutions are being pursued against the senior leadership of UN designated terror groups,” he said.

All these changes are about helping authorities stop corruption, preventing terrorism and organized criminals from benefitting from their crimes, he said, thanking the government for their “continued strong commitment” to the process.

Responding to a question about whether Pakistan would be blacklisted for its failure to act against those on the UN terrorism list, Dr Pleyer said that the country had completed 30 items out of 34 on two action plans.

“This shows the clear commitment of the Pakistani government so there is no discussion on blacklisting Pakistan and the FATF urges the country to address the remaining four items,” he said, adding that the government was cooperating with the financial watchdog.

Pakistan will remain on enhanced follow-up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures. Pakistan’s fourth progress report is due 1 February 2022.

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