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October 22, 2020

FATF takes up Pakistan case tomorrow

Top Story

October 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: With compliance of 21 points out of 27 action plan placed by international watchdog to combat money laundering and terror financing, the FATF’s plenary meeting kick-started at Paris on Wednesday.

The FATF meeting will decide fate of Pakistan either to keep it on grey list for another extended period or to remove it from the grey list.

The plenary of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) kick-started its three-day deliberations on Wednesday in Paris and Pakistan’s case will be taken up on the last day of the meeting on Friday. At least after enactment of 15 pieces of legislations, many of them through joint sitting of Parliament, Pakistani authorities are confident that there are minimal chances for placing Pakistan on blacklist.

“Pakistan’s case will be discussed on October 23, 2020 at FATF’s plenary meeting and our efforts will not waste,” one top government official said on the condition of anonymity here on Wednesday. Pakistan’s performance on different targets was shared in earlier weeks and now Pakistani authorities are expecting positive outcome on coming Friday. “We are expecting positive nod from the FATF’s epic body,” he hoped.

In the last FATF’s plenary, Pakistan was found largely compliant on 14 points out of total 27 action plan as Islamabad was placed on grey list in June 2018 after finding out major deficiencies in its compliance obligation on 40 recommendations of FATF placed for all 200 jurisdictions. Pakistani authorities claimed that the Joint Working Group (JWG) of FATF so far found compliant on total 21 points out of 27 action plan and it is yet to see how much FATF’s plenary accepted and then fate of the country would be decided.

According to FATF’s announcement, the first plenary under the two-year German FATF Presidency of Dr Marcus Pleyer starts today (Wednesday). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact around the world, the FATF remains committed to proceeding with its work. As a result of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, the FATF plenary will meet virtually.

During the next three days, delegates will discuss a range of issues, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on countries’ ability to detect, prevent and investigate money laundering and terrorist financing. Delegates will discuss the progress made by some jurisdictions identified as presenting a risk to the financial system.

The FATF plenary will also discuss and finalise updates to the FATF standards that will strengthen measures to prevent financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The outcomes of the FATF plenary will be published on Friday, October 23, at the close of the meeting. The FATF president will give a press briefing on the outcomes of the FATF plenary on Friday, October 23 at 16:00 (14:00 GMT). In February 2020, Pakistan included in list of countries with increased monitoring. The jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring. This list is often externally referred to as the ‘grey list’. The FATF and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) continue to work with the jurisdictions noted below and to report on the progress made in addressing the identified strategic deficiencies. The FATF calls on these jurisdictions to complete their agreed action plans expeditiously and within the proposed timeframes.

The FATF welcomes their commitment and will closely monitor their progress. The FATF does not call for the application of enhanced due diligence to be applied to these jurisdictions, but encourages its members to take into account the information presented below in their risk analysis.

The FATF continues to identify additional jurisdictions, on an ongoing basis, that have strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. A number of jurisdictions have not yet been reviewed by the FATF and FSRBs, it concluded.