ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan has prepared a comprehensive plan to exclude the country from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Sources told this scribe that the Finance minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar on Friday in its briefing to the National Security Committee (NSC) gave a complete plan to take Pakistan out of FATF’s grey list.
Pakistan has to implement the 26 points recommended by FATF regarding the actions against money launderers and terror financiers.
Sources told that coordination between the departments will be increased who are dealing with terror financing (TF) and anti-money laundering (AML); moreover, since most of the points are related to provinces, the federal government will thus hold a meeting with provincial administrations soon for the implementation of FATF’s demands, sources added.
Sources further added that recently, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a prominent banker on the charges of money laundering worth of billions of rupees. This is bound to ameliorate the relations with the FATF as it shows concrete actions taken against money laundering at a high level.
In addition to this, Pakistan will also have to submit a report with regards to law enforcement agencies (LEAs’) identifying and investigating money laundering activities in which a particular focus will be on key aspects of the terror financier’s risk profiles including cash smuggling, illegal MVTS, narcotics trafficking, misuse of NPOs, proceeds of smuggling including natural resources, as well as funding the terrorist groups including Da’esh, AQ, JuD, FiF, LeT, JeM, HQN, and persons affiliated with the Taliban.
Furthermore, the government will also demonstrate effective implementation of terror financing sanctions (TFS) against the assets of 1267 and 1373 designated persons and entities and their affiliates. This includes the tracing and freezing of their assets – both moveable and immoveable, identifying persons and entities acting on behalf of, or, at the direction of designated persons or entities and lastly, to prevent the raising and moving of funds as well as any activities designed to evade effective implementation.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani delegation had also assured the FATF that the government will shut down the businesses of designated persons and entities or those acting on their behalf by May of 2019.
Pakistan shall make public the lists of persons and entities prescribed under UN-designated entities by January next year, sources told.
The government will take initiates by September 2019 to mitigate the cross-border currency and BNI controls at all ports of entry, including applying effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions when and where there are instances of false declaration or failure to declare proper proof.
Furthermore, the government will also take strict action against the illegal operators of MVTS till May 2019; the purpose of this is that the designated persons and entities are using the illegal MVTS to carry out their activities.
Sources told that authorities are pursuing domestic and international cooperation such as requesting and providing information to relevant counterparts for intelligence, investigations to identify cash couriers and enforce controls on the illicit movement of currency.
The government, by May 2019 will tell the FATF that authorities have properly identified, assessed and understood both domestic and transnational terror financing risks to direct investigations.
The government will also inform the FATF about the supervisory activities applied on a risk-sensitive basis to financial institutions (banks, exchange companies, etc.) to ensure effective implementation of TFS obligations.