Home Global Village Grey List Fiasco: FATF team arrives in Islamabad for progress report

Grey List Fiasco: FATF team arrives in Islamabad for progress report


News Analysis |

A nine-member team from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is visiting Pakistan to scrutinize Pakistan’s embodiment of its commitments to curb terror-financing. Pakistan will try and brief the visiting team about its plan of action and already taken steps to establish that it is doing all it can to eradicate terror-financing, especially through illicit financial transaction methods such as Hawala and Hundi.

The Asia Pacific Group (APG) delegation comprises of experts from the British Scotland Yard, US Department of Treasury, Financial Intelligence Unit of Maldives, Indonesian Ministry of Finance, Peoples’ Bank of China, Justice Department of Turkey and three members of the APG will stay here for the next 12 days and review progress made by authorities on a 10-point action plan it was given in June this year to address global concerns.

The team will review systems, networks, and mechanisms of various financial and law-enforcement institutions and agencies to ascertain if Pakistan was following through on its global commitment to getting out of the FATF greylist.

The team of the Asia Pacific Group (APG), a wing of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force arrived in Islamabad on Sunday the 7th of October to begin a 12-day “on-site inspection” of Pakistan. The team will review systems, networks, and mechanisms of various financial and law-enforcement institutions and agencies to ascertain if Pakistan was following through on its global commitment to getting out of the FATF greylist.

Read more: Pakistan’s Economy may become worse under FATF’s grey list

Pakistan was placed on the global financial watchdog’s ‘grey’ list in June this year. Being on the list implies that there are known practices of Terror financing and the body needs to scrutinize the country and its commitments towards global peace. The on-site inspection, starting today, 8th of October, will verify actions taken and progress made by Islamabad.

The ministries of interior, finance, foreign affairs and law besides the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), Central Directorate of National Savings and provincial counter-terrorism departments would remain available for briefings and explanations.

The team will review systems, networks, and mechanisms of various financial and law-enforcement institutions and agencies to ascertain if Pakistan was following through on its global commitment to getting out of the FATF greylist.

The FATF decided in February to place Pakistan on its grey list in June on a campaign pushed through by the United States and its European allies for allegedly not doing enough to ban UN- and US-designated religious organizations and rein their activities. Pakistan has been on the Grey list before in 2011 and was given a ten-point agenda, after the implementation of which its name was withdrawn from the list in 2015.

Read more: Government deliberately ignored the brewing FATF Imbroglio?

Last week, the federal government announced that it had finalized amendments to laws pertaining to terror-financing crimes; Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Act, 1974, Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA), Customs Act, 1969, and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, that would be presented to the prime minister and his cabinet for approval.

Under the proposed changes, punishments on account of illegal financial transactions at home and abroad have been increased to a minimum of three years imprisonment and up to 10 years along with fines going up to Rs 50 million each and attachment of properties for up to six months instead of 90 days. The proposed changes also allow access of bank accounts to FIA and other law-enforcement agencies.

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