ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday announced to keep Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ until mid of 2021. FATF President Marcus Pleyer announced the decision at a virtual press conference held after the body’s three-day plenary session came to an end today. The decision of Financial Action Task Force was announced after finding that Pakistan has successfully complied with 21 out of 27 action-items.
According to the official statement given after the plenary session, FATF commented that, “To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items. As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021.”
It should be noted that, FATF places those countries on its grey list which are not taking satisfying measures to combat terror funding and money laundering crimes.
Placement on the grey list is a warning for a country that it may be put on the blacklist in case of its failure to take effective measures against money laundering and terror financing.
FATF spokesperson also urged Pakistan that Pakistan needed to work on four areas to “address its strategic deficiencies”.
The spokesperson specified the strategic deficiencies that includes, firstly, demonstrating that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of terror financing activity, which target designated persons and entities, and those who act on the behalf/direction of the designated persons or entities, secondly, demonstrating that terror financing prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
The spokesperson went on and mentioned the strategic deficiencies required to be fulfilled, this includes, demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf; preventing the raising and moving of funds including in relation to non-profit organisations; identifying and freezing assets; and prohibiting access to funds and financial services.
Lastly, demonstrating enforcement against violation of terror financing sanctions, including in relation to NPOs, of administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases.
It is crucial for Pakistan to fulfill the left strategic deficiencies if they aim to get out of FATF grey list.