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FATF team arrives in Pakistan to verify steps taken by country to exit watchdog's grey list

News Agencies | Updated on: 31 August 2022, 10:36 IST

The Global money laundering and terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) team has arrived in Pakistan to verify the steps taken by the country to exit the watchdog's grey list, local media reported.

The FATF team will visit the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) headquarters and the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directorate, where the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Directorate will give a briefing on the implementation of the action plan.

During the visit, the FATF review team will also review the strategy for future actions. On the basis of the report compiled by the FATH's review team, the financial announcement will be made whether to remove Pakistan from the grey list or not, ARY News reported.

Following the visit of the FATF's team, the entry of visitors into the FIA headquarters was prohibited.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistani authorities established different circles across Pakistan including the AML Directorate for the implementation of the FATF Action Plan. The circles had sent their reports to the concerned directorate, whereas, the relevant data of the concerned ministries were also possessed by the directorate, reported ARY News.

The FATF on June 17 said that Pakistan will continue to stay on its 'grey list' and a final decision to remove it from the list will be taken after an "on-site" verification visit by the Paris-based body.

This decision was announced after the conclusion of the FATF plenary in Berlin, where delegates from governments around the world and partner organizations, including the UN and IMF discussed key money laundering and terrorist financing issues.

"At its June 2022 Plenary, the FATF made the initial determination that Pakistan has substantially completed its two action plans, covering 34 items, and warrants an on-site visit to verify that the implementation of Pakistan's AML/CFT reforms has begun and is being sustained and that the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future," the FATF said in a statement.

"The FATF will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and conduct an on-site visit at the earliest possible date," it added.

Pakistan has been on the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog's grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This greylisting has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.

In June 2021, the country was given three months to fulfil the remaining conditions by October. However, Pakistan was retained on the FATF 'grey list' for failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards and for its lack of progress in the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups.

Back in March, FATF had called Pakistan to work on "complex money laundering investigations and prosecutions."


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First published: 31 August 2022, 10:36 IST