New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The Asia-Pacific Group, a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), has placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet its standards.
In its 22nd Annual Meeting held in Canberra, the APG found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering, officials said.
The FATF APG discussions lasted over seven hours over two days.
Out of 11 effectiveness parameters, Pakistan scored low on 10.
Pakistan’s Finance Ministry, countering reports in the Indian media that the country has been blacklisted, clarified that the APG “has adopted Pakistan’s 3rd Mutual Evaluation Report and has put Pakistan in its enhanced follow-up as per APG’s Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures”.
As part of this, Pakistan “would be required to submit follow-up progress reports to APG on quarterly basis”.
The ministry termed the Indian media reports of Pakistan being blacklisted by APG as “incorrect and baseless”.
Pakistan had submitted a compliance report on its 27-point action plan to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering, as three separate evaluations would determine the country’s possible exit from the grey list by October.
The Asia-Pacific Group was conducting its five-year evaluation of Pakistan’s progress on upgrading its systems in all areas of financial and insurance services and sectors.
These areas cover safeguards against money laundering and terror financing by banned outfits and non-government entities through banking and non-banking jurisdictions, capital markets, corporate and non-corporate sectors like chartered accountancy, financial advisory services, cost and management accountancy firm, jewellers and similar related services.
The Pakistani delegation had presented its 26-page report before the intergovernmental organisation regarding the measures which have been taken to prevent money laundering, terror financing and other recommendations. The report was collectively prepared by five institutions.
The APG’s current assessment report can indirectly impact Pakistan’s position to move out of the grey list.
The assessments, represented from Pakistan by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Baqir Reza, concluded on Friday.
The delegation comprised representatives of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).
The APG meeting will be followed by another round of mutual evaluations by the APG starting September 5 in Bangkok (Thailand), which would become a key basis for final review of Pakistan by the FATF at its plenary and working group meetings scheduled for October 13-18 in Paris.
Over 520 senior delegates from 46 jurisdictions and 13 international organisations came together in Canberra, Australia, during the week of August 18-23. The event was chaired by Deputy Commissioner Leanne Close of the Australian Federal Police and Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan, Head of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit.
During the week, APG members adopted six significant mutual evaluation reports.
The reports — for China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Pakistan, the Philippines and Solomon Islands — were analysed and discussed in detail over two full days and will now be subject to post-plenary quality and consistency review prior to publication, it said in a release.
Final publication on the APG website is expected in early October 2019. The APG also adopted a number of follow-up reports for APG members and for joint APG/FATF members and also agreed on revised evaluation procedures for the coming year reflecting recent changes to global procedures.