Wednesday, August 17, 2022

FATF to conduct ‘on-site’ visit after ‘Pakistan completes action plans’

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BERLIN: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has acknowledged that Pakistan has  “substantially completed its two action plans”, saying that the watchdog will now schedule an on-site visit to verify the implementation of the measures, ARY News reported on Friday.

However, Pakistan has not been formally removed from the FATF’s grey list. In a statement, the watchdog acknowledged that Pakistan has completed both its action plans, covering 34 items and said this showed the necessary political commitment was in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future.

“The FATF will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and conduct an on-site visit at the earliest possible date to verify the implementation and sustainability of the country’s money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures,” it added.

The FATF also acknowledged Pakistan continued political commitment to combating both terrorist financing and money laundering, which it said had led to significant progress.

“Pakistan demonstrated that terror financing investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN designated terrorist groups and that there is a positive upwards trend in the number of money laundering investigations and prosecutions being pursued in Pakistan, in line with Pakistan’s risk profile,” it added.

The financial watchdog noted that Pakistan has also largely addressed its 2021 action plan ahead of the set times.

Addressing a press conference after the conclusion of a four-day plenary session, FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer noted that Pakistani authorities have done a lot of work.

“Pakistan has now largely addressed all 34 action items from their combined two action plans. The country is not being removed from grey list today. The country will be removed from the list if it successfully passes the on-site visit,” said Dr Pleyer.

Soon after the development, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar — who was leading Pakistan’s delegation at the plenary session in Berlin —  congratulated Pakistan, saying the international community had “unanimously” acknowledged the country’s efforts.

“Our success is the result of four years of a challenging journey. Pakistan reaffirms resolve to continue the momentum and give our economy a boost,” said Khar while congratulating the Pakistan team at FATF.

Pakistan has been on the grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018.

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