FATF review meeting: Pakistani delegation to leave for Sydney tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: A 12-member delegation would leave for Sydney tomorrow (Friday) to participate in the scheduled meeting of International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

According to sources, the 12-member delegation would include the officials from Customs Intelligence, State Bank of Pakistan, Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau, National Counter Terrorism Authority Pakistan and Financial Monitoring Unit. The meeting of ICRG of the FATF would be held on Jan 8 and would continue till Jan 10.

Sources said that NACTA on Wednesday submitted the Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment report to FATF, adding that the Pakistani team would inform the forum about the actions taken to curb terror financing and money laundering.

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Earlier last month, National Executive Committee (NEC), a forum chaired by the finance minister, had approved the Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment and Risk Assessment Report on cash smuggling.

Sources said that Pakistan has done a lot of work pertaining to FATF directions, as it has to present a report on 10 points in this meeting. Overall, the country would have to deliver on all 27 points by September this year. In case it fails, Pakistan could be blacklisted, which carries serious financial implications.

The main concern of the international body, which visited Pakistan in October last year, was terror financing, sources said, adding that the international team had a suspicion that proscribed organizations transfer money to terrorist organizations.

“This is why Pakistan was asked to freeze the assets of those designated persons and entities and their affiliates which come under the UNSC Resolution number 1267 and 1373. These include Da’ish, Al Qaida, Falahi Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), Jamaatud Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohmmad, Haqqani Network and persons affiliated with the Taliban,” sources said.

It is worth mentioning that Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) in the NEC meeting had presented the analysis on suspicious transaction reports filed by the financial sector in the last three years and the law enforcement actions taken against money laundering and terrorism financing on the basis of such reports.

FATF had placed Pakistan into the grey list in June 2018 during a plenary meeting in Paris, arguing that Pakistan had failed to act against terror financing on its soil.

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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