Disappointed with Pakistan’s efforts to combat terror financing, FATF delegation (Financial Action Task Force) has asked Islamabad it to do more to strengthen its legal framework if it wants to evade being blacklisted by FATF – the anti-money laundering watchdog.
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Currently placed on the FATF’S ‘grey list’, Pakistan has been struggling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the FATF, an action that could further hurt its economy.
The second team of experts from the FATF arrived over the weekend to review the progress made by Pakistan on an action plan agreed in June to address global concerns. According to Pakistan paper, Dawn, the FATF delegation was not impressed with the progress made by Pakistan so far as it found the legal framework insufficient.
According to sources, the delegation feared that the setup installed for scrutinising the activities of non-profit organisations, brokerage houses, exchange companies and donations of corporate entities – registered under the companies act – was not robust enough.
The purpose of the mutual evaluation visit is to assess the effectiveness of Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime under FATF methodology.
The visiting team included Ian Collins of the United Kingdom’s Scotland Yard, James Prussing of the United States Department of the Treasury, Ashraf Abdullah of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Maldives, Bobby Wahyu Hernawan of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, Gong Jingyan of the Peoples Bank of China and Mustafa Necmeddin Oztop of the Turkish Ministry of Justice.
Earlier in August, the FATF officials identified a series of deficiencies in Pakistan’s AML/CFT mechanisms. By the end of September next year, Pakistan must comply with the 10-point action plan of the FATF or else it will fall into the blacklist.