Fate under scanner: FATF to decide if Pakistan stays in ‘grey list’

Pakistan’s fate at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will be under the scanner this week, as the global financing watchdog is holding its plenary session beginning Monday.

Decision will be made on whether Islamabad stays on the grey list or gets out of it, although New Delhi has been pushing for its blacklisting for the last three years.

“Under the German Presidency of Dr Marcus Pleyer, delegates representing 205 members of the Global Network and observer organisations including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units will take part in the virtual meeting of the FATF Plenary,” FATF said in a statement on Monday.

The outcome will be announced on June 25.

During five days, they will discuss key issues to strengthen global action against financial flows that fuel crime and terrorism, the FATF stated.

The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering has retained Pakistan on “enhanced follow-up” status for outstanding requirements, and Islamabad will continue to report back to it on the country’s progress to strengthen its implementation of anti-money laundering and combating financing terror measures.

Pakistan was put on the grey list by the Paris-based FATF in June 2018, and the country has been struggling to come out of it. The Asia Pacific Group (APG) is a regional affiliate of FATF.

The second Follow-Up Report (FUR) on Mutual Evaluation of Pakistan released by APG also downgraded Pakistan on one criteria.

The FATF statement said they will hear the progress made by some jurisdictions identified as presenting a risk to the financial system.

The FATF will finalise key reports, including on money laundering and environmental crime, ethnically and racially motivated terrorist financing and two reports that explore the opportunities that technology can offer to improve anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing efforts. It will also finalise its second 12-month review of the implementation of revised FATF Standards for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, and guidance on proliferation financing risk assessment and mitigation.

The outcomes of the FATF plenary will be published on June 25 at the close of the meeting, it was stated.

Pakistan is now compliant or largely compliant with 31 out of 40 FATF recommendations. The reporting date for this evaluation was October 1, 2020, which means Islamabad may have made further progress since then that would be evaluated at a later stage.

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