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FATF asks Pakistan to ‘swiftly’ complete action plan by Feb

By Wajid Ali Syed
January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON: Noting efforts already made on various items, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has asked Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by next month.

"As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021," the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog said on its website.

"To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items," it said, adding, "Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies."

It also listed at least four markers that include (1) demonstrating that law enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF activity and that TF investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and those acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities; (2) demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions; (3) 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 NPOs, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services; and (4) demonstrating enforcement against TFS violations, including in relation to NPOs, of administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases.

The Pakistan related entry on the FATF website also mentioned that since 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment, the country has led to progress in a number of areas in its action plan including: taking action to identify and sanction illegal MVTS, implementing cross-border currency and bearer negotiable instruments controls, improving international cooperation in terrorist financing cases, passing amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act to increase the sanctioning authority, financial institutions implementing targeted financial sanctions and applying sanctions for AML/CFT violations, and controlling facilities and services owned or controlled by designated persons and entities.