Pakistan remains on FATF’s ‘Grey List’

October 23, 2020 (MLN): Pakistan remained on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as it has been unable to comply with 6 of the 27 points in the global watchdog’s action plan, says President FATF, Dr. Marcus Pleyer, while addressing a press conference at Paris on Friday. However, Pakistan has signaled working more, he added.

The Paris-based global watchdog for curbing terror financing and money laundering has announced this decision at the conclusion of its three-day virtual plenary session from October 21 to 23, wherein, it reviewed Pakistan’s progress on the 27-point action plan for addressing anti-money laundering and terror financing.

While discussing Pakistan’s Performance, he said although the Pakistan govt has worked a lot and showed its commitment to complete the rest of the action plans. Still, it has to do much more, particularly on targeted financial sanctions to prevent and suppress terrorist financing.

Furthermore, Pakistan has been given a deadline until February 2021, as 6 outstanding points have to be fulfilled by Pakistan.

On asking upon if Pakistan fulfills all 6 parameters, will it be out of the grey list, President said that the plenary team will go and review. He further emphasized that Pakistan is on the grey list because Pakistan completed 21 items from 27, still, it has to prepare. The risks of placing Pakistan on the blacklist have not gone, he added.

“As long as we see that Pakistan is progressing, we will give it time to repair the shortcomings”, he said.

The FATF congratulated Iceland and Mongolia for the significant progress they have made in addressing the strategic AML/CFT deficiencies identified earlier by the FATF and included in their respective action plans.

Iceland and Mongolia will no longer be subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. This comes after both countries received on-site visits despite the COVID-19 crisis. Iceland will work with the FATF and Mongolia will work with the APG of which it is a member, to continue to strengthen their AML/CFT regimes.

“Our primary issue is to prevent criminal acts,” Pleyer said.

Replying to a question that what a country can do in this covid19 crisis, he said it is very necessary that law and order institutions have to be vigilant and freeze the assets if there is criminal activity including money laundering and terrorist financing.

“We urge Pakistan to complete all 27 parameters, there is no discrimination among countries” he added.

FATF is not an investigative body,  it has specific rules and regulations, he stated further.

With regard to the next meeting, he said that the next FATF meeting will be held in February 2021.  In addition, the FATF will develop Guidance to assist countries and the private sector in assessing and mitigating the proliferation financing risk. The FATF will also begin the process of revising its Methodology for assessing these new obligations, he concluded.

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