Pakistan remains on greylist of global terror financing watchdog FATF, asked to complete action plan by October 2019

A failure to do so could lead to a possible blacklisting by FATF.

Pakistan remains on greylist of global terror financing watchdog FATF, asked to complete action plan by October 2019
Reuters photo

New Delhi: Pakistan will continue to stay on the greylist of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to complete its action plan items twice in January and May 2019. The international terror financing (TF) watchdog also asked Islamabad to take steps to "address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies". It further noticed that the country does not “demonstrate a proper understanding of Pakistan's transnational TF risk.” 

FATF's Asia-Pacific Group (APG), which met in China in mid-May, was not impressed by Pakistan's action on terror financing. Islamabad was put on the greylist in 2018 which means the country comes under financial jurisdiction with 'structural deficiencies' in anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) or just supports the financing of terror.

Being on FATF's greylist impacts a weak Pakistani economy which loses $10 billion annually.

In a statement issued after the end of the week-long plenary of FATF in Orlando, Florida, the FAFT strongly urged "Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when the last set of action plan items are set to expire." 

It further warned, if Islamabad doesn't comply by Oct 2019, "FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient progress" which could refer to a possible blacklisting.

FATF asked Pakistan to work on implementing its 10-point action plan to address its strategic deficiencies which includes "demonstrating its proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by the terrorist groups" and "demonstrating that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated person are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources. "

The FATF in its February meet had come hard on Pakistan saying it has not demonstrated a proper understanding of the Terror Financing risks posed by "Da’esh, AQ, JuD, FiF, LeT, JeM, HQN, and persons affiliated with the Taliban. "

The 10 action-point listed by FATF are:

(1) "Adequately demonstrating its proper understanding of the TF risks posed by the terrorist groups and conducting supervision on a risk-sensitive basis; 

(2) "Demonstrating that remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML CFT violations and that these actions have an effect on AML/CFT compliance by financial institutions: 

(3) "Demonstrating that competent authorities are cooperating and taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services (MVTS): 

(4) "Demonstrating that authorities are identifying cash couriers and enforcing controls on illicit movement of currency and understanding the risk of cash couriers being used for TF: 

(5) "Improving inter-agency coordination including between provincial and federal authorities on combating TF risks: 

(6) "Demonstrating that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF activity and that TF investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities: 

(7) "Demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions and enhancing the capacity and support for prosecutors and the judiciary; and 

(8) "Demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf including preventing the raising and moving of funds. Identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services: 

(9) "Demonstrating enforcement against TFS violations including administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases; 

(10) "Demonstrating that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated person are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources."

 

Financial Action Task Force is a global body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.