The global money laundering and terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF), who arrived in Pakistan on August 29, has completed the verification of steps Islamabad had to take to fulfil conditions to exit the FATF’s grey list. The 15-member delegation will now decide Pakistan’s fate in October for the White List, sources have told CNN-News18.
The positive outcome of the onsite team’s findings would allow Pakistan to finally come clean over deficiencies in the system to curb money laundering and terror financing.
The FATA team, which was given a state guest level protocol, stayed in the country from August 29 to September 2, official sources told CNN-News18.
According to top Indian intelligence sources, the FATF compliance is an “eyewash” as Pakistan continues to infiltrate in the PoK areas.
Pakistani authorities have established different circles across Pakistan including the AML Directorate for the implementation of the FATF Action Plan. The circles had sent their reports to the concerned directorate, whereas, the relevant data of the concerned ministries were also possessed by the directorate, according to Pakistan’s local news media.
The FATF on June 17 said Pakistan will continue to stay on its ‘grey list’ and a final decision to remove it from the list will be taken after an “on-site” verification visit by the Paris-based body.
This decision was announced after the conclusion of the FATF plenary in Berlin, where delegates from governments around the world and partner organisations, including the UN and IMF discussed key money laundering and terrorist financing issues.
“At its June 2022 Plenary, the FATF made the initial determination that Pakistan has substantially completed its two action plans, covering 34 items, and warrants an on-site visit to verify that the implementation of Pakistan’s AML/CFT reforms has begun and is being sustained and that the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future,” the FATF said in a statement.
“The FATF will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and conduct an on-site visit at the earliest possible date,” it added.
Pakistan has been on the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This greylisting has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.
In June 2021, Pakistan was given three months to fulfil the remaining conditions by October. However, Pakistan was retained on the FATF ‘grey list’ for failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards and for its lack of progress in the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups.
(With inputs from ANI)