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FATF team visits Pak to review progress on action plan

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Islamabad, Aug 14 :  A team of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has arrived in Islamabad to review the progress made by Pakistan on the action plan it issued earlier this year to counter money laundering and terror financing, a media report said today.

The six-member delegation, comprising members of Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, arrived here yesterday on the first such trip by FATF after Pakistan was officially placed on its grey list, The News reported.

Pakistan was formally added to the ‘grey list’ of countries involved in providing monetary assistance to terrorism and related causes after a FATF meeting in Paris in June.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

“On the first day of deliberations, the APG and Pakistani side reviewed recommendations of the FATF in detail related to money laundering,” the paper quoted official sources as saying.

The Pakistani law enforcement agencies briefed the FATF team about the proposed steps under which the penalty will be doubled and the imprisonment period will be increased through legislative amendments with the approval of newly parliament, the paper said.

Citing official sources, it said the visiting team might hold a meeting with caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar tomorrow for discussing Pakistan’s preparedness to combat money laundering and terror financing in effective manner.

The delegations would stay in Pakistan till August 17 as the ongoing review would be accomplished on August 16, and then they would return back next day, the paper said.

It said another delegation was scheduled to visit Pakistan by October to review progress on the basis of 11 month basis and final progress would be scrutinised by January 2019 after completion of 15 month report for which Islamabad sought to get out from grey list and possibility of further down gradation into black list.

The Pakistani officials yesterday made all out efforts to convince the visiting FATF team that the money laundering and terrorist financing risk had been understood and they were ready to coordinate at domestic and external fronts for taking appropriate actions to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation, the paper said.

Pakistan had submitted a comprehensive 26-point action plan to the FATF to choke the funding of militants groups, including Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat ud Dawah and its affiliates, to avoid being blacklisted by it.

Pakistan remained on the FATF grey list from 2012 to 2015.

On June 20, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan had issued Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations 2018, in compliance with FATF recommendations.