The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced on Friday that Pakistan remained on its grey watch list, despite Islamabad’s “consistent political commitment” to implementing its action plan.
The statement was made at the end of the sixth FATF plenary, which was held by Dr Marcus Pleyer of Germany. Following the four-day meeting, the watchdog announced that the United Arab Emirates had been also added to its “grey” list.
The Statement Said, “Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to working with the FATF and the APG to reform its AML/CFT regime and address its strategic counter-terrorist funding deficiencies, Pakistan has made substantial progress toward a comprehensive counter-terrorist financing action plan,”. In Pakistan’s 2018 action plan, 26 of the 27 tasks have been completed.”
The FATF encouraged Pakistan to continue making progress toward completing the final Task as soon as feasible by demonstrating that terrorist financing investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups.
Further deficiencies were detected in the 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) in June 2021, and Pakistan introduced a new action plan to resolve these strategic deficiencies, which mostly focused on combating money laundering.
Since June 2021, Pakistan has made rapid efforts to improve its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime, completing six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines, including nominating persons and entities for UN designation and restricting and confiscating proceeds of crime, all based on Pakistan’s risk profile.
The outcome encouraged Pakistan to pursue the final task on its 2021 action plan by exhibiting a positive and consistent trend of pursuing complicated money laundering investigations and convictions.
The UAE has now been added to the grey list by the watchdog. “Following a review, the FATF has now included the United Arab Emirates [on the grey list],” the statement stated, adding that the UAE made a high-level political commitment in February 2022 to engage with the FATF and MENAFATF to improve the efficacy of its AML/CFT system.
The FATF said UAE would utilise case studies and statistics to show a persistent increase in outbound MLA requests to aid it in investigating TF, ML, and high-risk predicates, among other things.
According to the statement, the UAE would also identify and maintain a shared understanding of the ML/TF risks between the different DNFBP sectors and institutions.