Pakistan remains on FATF ‘grey list’ subject to on-site verification, financial watchdog says – Reuters
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Pakistan will continue to be on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list” of countries under increased scrutiny, a statement from the global money laundering watchdog said on Friday. financing of terrorism.
He indicated that the country could be removed from the list after an on-site visit to verify the implementation of its reforms on the fight against terrorist financing mechanisms.
“Pakistan is not removed from the gray list today.
It will be removed if the on-site visit concludes that its actions are sustainable,” outgoing FATF President Marcus Pleyer said.
He said an official announcement on Pakistan’s withdrawal would follow an on-site inspection, which would be conducted before October.
“During its June 2022 Plenary, the FATF initially determined that Pakistan has substantially completed its two action plans, covering 34 points, and warrants an on-site visit to verify that the implementation of AML (anti- money laundering) and Pakistan CFT (Counter Terrorist Financing) reforms have begun and are ongoing and that the necessary political commitment remains in place to support implementation and improvement going forward” , the statement said.
The June 2022 FATF Plenary Session was held in Berlin, Germany.
According to the statement, since 2018, Pakistan’s continued political commitment to combating both terrorist financing and money laundering has led to “significant progress”.
The Paris-based watchdog had included Pakistan in its “grey list” – a list of countries that have strategic gaps in their regimes to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing , but who have formally committed to working with the task force to make changes under heightened scrutiny – in 2018.
According to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper, inclusion in the “grey list” involves detected “strategic deficiencies” in a jurisdiction’s policies aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.
It is therefore difficult for a country to obtain financial assistance from global bodies such as the IMF.
Not as bad as blacklisting, inclusion in the “grey list” shows that a country is working to remove deficiencies that have been flagged.
Only North Korea and Iran are on the blacklist.
The dreaded listing makes it difficult to obtain investors and creditors, negatively impacts exports, production and consumption, and also makes it difficult for global banks to do business with a listed country.
At the meeting, Malta was removed from the “Grey List” and Gibraltar was added to it.
“In particular, Pakistan has demonstrated that Terrorist Financing (TF) investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups and that there is a positive trend of increasing number of ongoing money laundering (ML) investigations and prosecutions in Pakistan, in line with Pakistan’s risk profile,” the statement said.
Pakistan-based UN-designated terrorists include Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar, Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and its “operational commander” Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
All three are India’s most wanted terrorists for their involvement in numerous terrorist acts including the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai and the bombing of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus. ) in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
“The FATF will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will conduct an on-site visit as soon as possible,” the statement on Pakistan said.
The FATF currently comprises 37 member jurisdictions and two regional organizations, representing most of the world’s major financial centers.