FATF keeps Pakistan on grey list once again
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list, reported 24News HD TV channel.
The announcement was made by FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer at a press briefing after a five-day plenary meeting.
According to FATF, Pakistan has acted upon 26 points out of 27 points. It says Pakistan should go on with the actions against terror financing. It says Pakistan needs to further enhance the investigation system against the people involved in financial aid to the terrorist outfits.
The FATF has been holding a virtual session in Paris since June 21, which concluded today (June 25). As per reports, the task force reviewed the Asia Pacific Group's report on Pakistan's compliance with the watchdog's prescribed action items.
"Pakistan remains under increased monitoring," Pleyer said, adding that while Islamabad had made significant progress, there remained some serious deficiencies in mechanisms to plug terrorism financing.
“The Pakistani government has made substantial progress, making its counter-terrorist financing system stronger and more effective. It has largely addressed 26 out of 27 items on the action plan. That action plan focused on terrorist financing issues, however, one key issue is still needed to be completed which concerns the investigation and prosecution of the senior leadership and commanders of terror groups,” he said, continuing, “Addition to this, a separate process has been taking place over the for past few years. In 2019, FATF regional partner, Asia Pacific Group found a number of serious issues during its assessment of Pakistan’s entire anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finances system, since then Pakistan has made improvements, however, Pakistan is still failing to implement FTAF standards in a number of areas, it means risks of money laundering high which can fuel corruption and organized crimes. That’s why FATF has worked with the Pakistani government to look into the areas that still need to be improved.” He also thanked Pakistan for its continued strong commitment to this process. Pakistan has already made substantial improvements since the APG report.
The FATF outlined six areas where Pakistan should continue to work to address its strategically important AML/CFT deficiencies:
(1) enhancing international cooperation by amending the MLA law;
(2) demonstrating that assistance is being sought from foreign countries in implementing UNSCR 1373 designations;
(3) demonstrating that supervisors are conducting both on-site and off-site supervision commensurate with specific risks associated with DNFBPs, including applying appropriate sanctions where necessary;
(4) demonstrating that proportionate and dissuasive sanctions are applied consistently to all legal persons and legal arrangements for non-compliance with beneficial ownership requirements;
(5) demonstrating an increase in ML investigations and prosecutions and that proceeds of crime continue to be restrained and confiscated in line with Pakistan’s risk profile, including working with foreign counterparts to trace, freeze, and confiscate assets; and
(6) demonstrating that DNFBPs are being monitored for compliance with proliferation financing requirements and that sanctions are being imposed for non-compliance.
The FATF president said that they will be extending their support and closely observe the process and then in four months, we will look again on the progress.