Pakistan continues to be on FATF’s gray listing

FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer addressing a post-plenary conference on October 21, 2021.. — YouTube
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer addressing a post-plenary convention on October 21, 2021.. — YouTube

PARIS: Pakistan will proceed to be on the  gray listing or the elevated monitoring listing of the  Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the physique’s president, Dr Marcus Pleyer, introduced Thursday.

The improvement got here  through the president’s post-plenary press convention.

The FATF has been holding a gathering in Paris since October 19 below the German presidency of Dr Marcus Pleyer, which concludes in the present day, October 21. 

It is pertinent to say right here that Pakistan has been on the FATF’s elevated monitoring listing since June 2018.

According to the president, Pakistan has two concurrent motion plans with a complete of 34 motion plan objects. “It has now addressed, or largely addressed 30 of the items,” he mentioned.

“It’s most recent action plan from June this year which largely focused on money laundering deficiencies was issued after FATF’s regional partner APG (Asian Pacific Group) identified a number of serious issues.

Overall, Pakistan is making “good progress” on the new action plan, he said, adding that of the 7 new items, four have been “addressed or largely addressed”.

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

Dr Pleyer also spoke of Pakistan’s earlier action plan, dating back to June 2018, and which focuses on terrorist financing issues, “Pakistan continues to be assessed to have largely addressed 26 out of 27 objects”.

He said Pakistan still needs to demonstrate investigations and prosecutions are being pursued against the senior leadership of UN designated terror groups.

“I thank the Pakistani authorities for his or her continued robust dedication to this course of.”

The FATF held a meeting in Paris which began on October 19 and concludes today, October 21.

As per reports, the task force reviewed the Asia Pacific Group’s report on Pakistan’s compliance with the watchdog’s prescribed action items.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan has been on the FATF’s increased monitoring list, known as the grey list, since June 2018.

On Wednesday, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir said that Pakistan has fulfilled 26 out of 27 conditions set by the FATF.

“Pakistan will quickly come out of the gray listing,” he said.

Pakistan’s next review to be held in February 2022

The Ministry of Finance issued a statement after the press conference and said: “The FATF has recognised appreciable progress made by Pakistan on each the motion plans.” 

It underlined that with regard to the 2021 Action Plan, Pakistan has completed four of the seven action plan items. Pakistan has completed these four action plan items “a lot earlier than the timelines prescribed by FATF”, said the statement.

“Progress on remaining three motion objects is effectively underway and it’s aimed to finish the three motion objects forward of the timelines set by the FATF,” the ministry said.

The action items that have been completed include amendments in the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, 2020, anti money laundering (AML)/ combating financing of terrorism (CFT) supervision of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), transparency of beneficial ownership information and implementation of Targeted Financial Sanctions for Proliferation Finance by DNFBPs.

The remaining action items in the 2021 Action Plan include investigation and prosecution of money laundering cases, confiscation of assets and UN listings.

“Regarding the 2018 Action Plan, Pakistan submitted a complete progress report on the final remaining Action Plan merchandise,” the statement read.

Following the FATF president’s remarks, the ministry said that FATF acknowledged Pakistan’s continued political commitment, which led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT Action Plan and encouraged Pakistan to report further progress on investigation and prosecution.

“The plenary assembly determined to keep up the established order with respect to Pakistan, in the meanwhile,” it said.

Considerable work has already been carried out on the remaining items of both action plans, the ministry said.

“FATF will undertake subsequent assessment of Pakistan’s progress in February 2022,” read the statement.

It added that Pakistan is fully committed to completing both its action plans in cooperation with FATF and its international partners.

“The high-level political dedication, which is driving its revamped AML/CFT regime, is extensively recognised by the worldwide group,” the assertion mentioned.