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FATF team arrives to assess progress on global standards against money laundering

FATF team arrives to assess progress on global standards against money laundering

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), arrived in Islamabad on Monday for talks and to assess whether Pakistan has made progress on global standards against money laundering.

The three-day talks between Pakistan and the nine-member APG delegation led by Executive Secretary Garden Hook will start from Tuesday.

The visiting assessment team comprises Ian Collins of New Scotland Yard, James Prussing of Department of the Treasury United States, Ashraf Abdulla of Financial Intelligence Unit Maldives, Boby Wahyu Hernawan of Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance, Gong Jingyan of People’s Bank of China; Mustafa Necmeddin of Turkey’s Ministry of Justice, Deputy Director Muhammad Al-Rashdan and Deputy Director;Shannon Rutherford.

As per the Mutual Evaluation methodology, the APG assessment team would conduct meetings to discuss the second draft Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) with the relevant stakeholders.  The APG assessment team will meet officials from the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Federal Investigation Agency.

If Pakistan fails to satisfy the FATF delegation to remove its name from the “grey list”, then a new plan of action can be given to the country. In February, FATF directed Pakistan to take more steps to curb money laundering.

In June last year, Pakistan made a commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its terrorism financing-related deficiencies by implementing an action plan to accomplish these objectives.

FATF, a global body that combats terror financing and money laundering, had taken the decision to place Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ during a plenary meeting in February 2018.

Pakistan was formally added to the ‘grey list’ of countries involved in providing monetary assistance to terrorism and related causes after a June 2018 meeting of FATF in Paris.

The country was also included in the list from 2012 to 2015.