Pakistan vows to address deficiencies in AML compliance
Pakistan has vowed to address the strategic deficiencies identified by the global financial system watchdog in the country’s compliance with the standards of anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said Pakistan provided “a written high-level political commitment to address the identified deficiencies”.
“The FATF calls on [Pakistan] to complete the implementation of action plan expeditiously and within the proposed timeframe,” said the taskforce that works to identify the risks to the international financial system.
A Pakistani delegation attended the FATF six-day plenary meeting, to submit its action plan to curb money laundering and terror financing. In February, the FATF decided to place the country on its grey list, but Pakistan managed to avert being placed on the black list.
The country was previously part of high risk jurisdictions (blacklist) in 2008 and 2012, while it was under jurisdictions that were making sufficient progress (grey list) in 2010 and 2014. Pakistan was removed from the grey list in 2015.
The FATF said it will closely monitor the implementation of the action plan put forward by Pakistan.
Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and its subgroup Asia Pacific Group to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies.
The country will demonstrate “that terror financing risks are properly identified, assessed and that supervision is applied on a risk-sensitive basis”.
The country is cooperating and taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services. It is identifying cash couriers and enforcing controls on illicit movement of currency and understanding the risk of cash couriers being used for terror financing. Pakistan vowed to effectively implement “targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services”.
The country will strengthen enforcement against violations of terror financing services, including administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases.
“The FATF continues to identify additional jurisdictions, on an ongoing basis, that pose a risk to the international financial system,” FATF said.
“The FATF and the FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) will continue to work with the jurisdictions… and to report on the progress made in addressing the identified deficiencies.”
Currently, FATF has officially designated 10 countries under high-risk jurisdictions (blacklist) and jurisdictions that are making sufficient progress (grey list).