In bid to meet FATF’s demands, govt to form new institutions, say sources


The Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) logo. — FATF/File

In a bid to meet the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) demands, the federal government on Monday decided to form new institutions, sources told Geo News.

In preparation for the report to be presented at the FATF meeting in the third week of June, work has begun on amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act and anti-terrorist financing laws.

It is pertinent to mention the federal cabinet had approved the amendments.

The National Counter-Terrorism Authority, Interior Ministry, Law Ministry, Federal Board of Revenue, and Finance Ministry are working to bring amendments to these laws.

Following the amendments, the cases of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing will be investigated by specialised agencies.

The specialised institutions would work with FBR, FMU, NACTA, FIA, ANF, NAB, and provincial anti-corruption departments, sources said. Dozens of special public prosecutors will be appointed in these institutions.

Under the new rules, money laundering cases would be transferred to specialised institutions, while an integrated system would be set up for the recovery of assets seized under terror financing and suspicious remittances.

All investigative agencies will be obliged to share intelligence, sources said.

The report on changes in these laws and the implementation of three more points will be submitted to the FATF.

In the light of these reports, the FATF will decide whether or not to remove Pakistan’s name from the grey list.

Pakistan to remain on FATF’s grey list until June

In February, FATF had said Pakistan would remain under “increased monitoring” when it comes to terror financing, therefore, it will remain on the grey list until June 2021.

The decision came after a three-day virtual meeting of the FATF that began on February 22, during which steps taken by Pakistan against terror financing were reviewed.

Speaking via a live video link, the FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer had said that while FATF recognises Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, there are still some serious deficiencies that the country needs to address.

“Out of the 27 conditions of the action plan, three still need to be addressed,” he had said. “I recognise Pakistan’s efforts, and out of the six tasks that it had to complete, three had been done, but it substantially needs to work on the remaining three in terms of terror financing.”

Pleyer stressed that Pakistan must continue to work on the items that it has committed to and make sure that it meets all the requirements, adding that FATF will once again review Pakistan’s efforts in June 2021.

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