Pakistan Minister vows to address deficiencies in anti-money laundering system

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Islamabad, Sep 1 (IANS) Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar has said that the government will address all 27 deficiencies pointed out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in the country’s anti-money laundering system earlier this year.

Addressing the Senate on Friday, Umar said that the National Executive Committee (NEC) headed by him, will review the action plan so as to handle the deficiencies related to currency smuggling and alleged terror financing by proscribed organisations in Pakistan, reports Xinhua news agency.

On June 30, the FATF formally put Pakistan in a grey list and identified it as a country with “strategic deficiencies” in its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime, notifying the steps the country must take to address the shortcomings.

Pakistan made a commitment to the action plan, which it would implement over the next 13 months. Failure to negotiate the action plan could lead Pakistan to the blacklist.

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The deficiencies identified in Pakistani anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime include inadequate monitoring and regulatory mechanisms, low conviction rate on unlawful transactions, poor implementation of UN Security Council resolutions and cross-border illicit movement of currency by terrorist groups.

Umar told the Senate that a FATF delegation visited Pakistan from August 13 to 16, but the visit was not linked with the review of implementation status.

He said the first review meeting would be held in Jakarta on September 11 and 12.

“The government is taking steps to overcome the deficiencies identified by the FATF,” said the Minister, adding that Pakistan had reservations about the procedure used for putting the country on the grey list and that there is no chance of any kind of immediate sanctions on Islamabad.

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–IANS

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