Removal from ‘grey list’ or not? FATF to announce decision on Pakistan’s position today

Pakistan FATF grey list

Paris: Whether Pakistan’s name will be removed from the infamous “increased monitoring list — also known as the “grey list” — or not, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will announce its decision today (Friday).

The FATF had included Pakistan in its “increased monitoring” list in June 2018 for deficiencies in Pakistan’s legal, financial, regulatory, investigations, prosecution, judicial and non-government sectors to fight money laundering and terror financing which are considered to be serious threats to the global financial system.

Since then, Pakistan has made serious attempts to escape the increased monitoring list of the watchdog. As a result of Pakistan’s serious efforts, the FATF in June this year announced that Pakistan had completed all 34 items on two separate plans as demanded by the global watchdog for combating money laundering and terror financing.

However, the removal of Pakistan’s name from the grey list was conditioned on an on-site visit of a FATF team to verify the implementation and sustainability of the country’s money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures.

FATF warrants ‘on-site’ visit to verify Pak AML/CFT reforms

According to a statement by the FATF, Pakistan substantially completed all items on both its action plans, which showed that necessary political commitment was in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future.

The FATF team then visited Pakistan in September and concluded its findings that were to be discussed and reviewed in the next meeting of FATF, scheduled in Paris in October.

According to a recent statement by the watchdog, the FATF Plenary meetings are taking place in Paris on 20-21 October 2022.

“The first Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary under the two-year Singapore Presidency of T. Raja Kumar will take place on 20-21 October 2022,” the statement says.

It further says that delegates representing 206 members of the Global Network and observer organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank, INTERPOL, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, are participating in the Working Group and Plenary meetings in Paris.

During the meetings, the delegates will be discussing key issues, including guidance on improving beneficial ownership transparency to prevent shell companies and other opaque structures from being used to launder illicit funds.

The Plenary will also be discussing a report on the laundering of illicit proceeds generated from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids and proposals to enhance asset recovery.

“A summary of the Plenary’s decisions will be published on the FATF website following the conclusion of the meeting,” the statement says.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has assured the nation that Pakistan will likely exit the grey list this week.

In his press conference in Washington on Sunday, FM Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan worked hard to exit FATF’s grey list and that the government was hopeful the country would come out of it.

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