Pakistan must comply with 40 recommendations to be taken off FATF’s grey list

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After an on-site assessment of the steps taken by Pakistan to curb terror financing and money laundering, a visiting Financial Action Task Force (FATF) team has finalised a report with 40 recommendations for de-listing Islamabad from its grey list from September next year, according to a media report Friday.

Currently placed on the FATF’s ‘grey list’, Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the Paris-based FATF, a measure that officials here fear could further hurt its economy.

A nine-member team of the FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group (APG) arrived here on October 8 to review the measures as promised by Pakistan in June to tackle the concerns about money laundering and terror financing.

Dawn reported that the AGP suggested measures in its report on Thursday after the on-site assessment of prevailing legal and institutional framework during its 11 days of engagement with stakeholders, to curb terror financing and money laundering in Pakistan.

The APG group’s report, comprising 40 recommendations under 11 performance benchmarks, was submitted to the government on Friday, Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

The report will be now be discussed at the meeting of the National Action Committee to be attended by officials of key government departments and agencies, including the Federal Investigation Agency, Financial Monitoring Unit, Federal Board of Revenue and Anti-Narcotics Force.

The Dawn quoted its sources as saying that Pakistan had complied with more than 50% of the recommendations though it wasn’t clear whether this would be enough for the country to be taken out of the grey list.

In August, APG identified a series of deficiencies in Pakistan’s anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing laws and mechanisms. Pakistan then provided details of measures it had taken to overcome these issues.

On October 5, Pakistan received a “technical compliance annexure” from APG that highlighted further deficiencies in the laws that Islamabad needs to take care of.

During the APG team’s visit, it was highlighted that Pakistan was “mostly compliant” with regard to laws to counter terror financing though issues remained related to their implementation.

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