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Pakistan all set to apprise FATF of latest steps

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ISLAMABAD:Pakistan is scheduled to apprise the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the measures taken in accordance with its action plan to address the weakness in anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing framework on September 8 in Bangkok.

The Pakistani team led by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar will leave for Bangkok on Friday.

Representatives of the Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank, Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, narcotics and intelligence agencies are members of the team.

According to the finance ministry sources, the outcome of the talks, which would continue till September 13, would decide whether Pakistan’s name stayed on the grey list or would it be added to the black list.

The talks would also be held on the matter of including Pakistan’s name in the enhanced expedited list by the FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group.

The name being included in the list means that Pakistan would be required to submit follow-up reports to the APG on a quarterly basis.
The sources said replies to 125 questions of the APG had also been summoned in order to take Pakistan out of the list.

It is being said that cross-questioning would also be held during the talks between the two sides.

The sources said Pakistan’s stance in the talks would be presented through the APG.

Pakistan would also provide answers to 10 important questions related to curbing money laundering and terrorism financing.

Details of punishment handed over to those involved in terrorism financing had also been sought. Questions would include mode of investigation, prosecution and conviction in the terrorism financing cases.

The sources said Pakistan’s name would not be added to the black list, instead chances were ripe that its name would be withdrawn from the grey list.

“If the FATF decides to keep Pakistan’s name on the grey list, there will certainly be some conditions,” they added.

The sources said the FATF would be informed that a new national risk assessment programme with the cooperation of UN Office on Drugs and Crime had been started to assess three important aspects.

Topping the list was terrorism and terrorism financing dangers. It was being determined that which departments were under the threat of terrorism financing.

On the second number was identifying the departments and areas which were very weak and insecure or vulnerable.

The third aspect was the consequence if the flaws and weaknesses of these weak and vulnerable areas and departments were not addressed.

The sources said the FATF would be apprised of the action taken against organisations and the people involved in terrorism financing and terrorism, adding that the current statement of the interior ministry regarding action against banned groups was in this direction.

They said according to the FATF recommendations 22, 23 and 28, a policy regarding monitoring of income and activities of lawyers, chartered accountants, real state dealers, gem dealers and all risk based non-financial business and professions was being prepared.

The monitoring and regulation of some of the departments had been initiated.