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Pakistan to remain on enhanced follow-up list: Asia-Pacific Group

The Asia-Pacific Group (APG) in its first Follow-Up Report (FUR) on Mutual Evaluation, retained Pakistan on its ‘Enhanced Follow-Up’ list on compliance on two counts out of 40 technical recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to counter money laundering and terror financing, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. The APG report has come only two weeks before FATF’s virtual review meeting, scheduled to be held from October 21 to 23, but the report will not be submitted in the FATF as it has no immediate bearing on the upcoming assessment of Pakistan whether it should be retained or moved out of the grey list. It is pertinent to note that an Asia-Pacific Group is “FATF-Asia Secretariat” established and funded by the government of Australia in 1995. The Asia Pacifica Group considers FATF’s 40 recommendations as international standards against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The APG said Pakistan had fully complied with two of the 40 FATF recommendations on the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and combating financing terror systems. Pakistan was non-compliant on four points, partially compliant on 25 points and largely compliant on nine recommendations of FATF, the report stated. The APG in its 12-page report, “Pakistan will remain in enhanced (expedited) follow up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.” Overall Pakistan has made some progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies and the country has also made robust progress on 27 action points, including legislation in 15 areas, FATF’s affiliate group said. It is important to mention that 41-member APG had adopted the third Mutual Evaluation Report on Pakistan during the August 13-18 meetings in Canberra, Australia and downgraded the country to “Enhanced Follow-up” category over technical deficiencies to meet normal international financial standards by October 2018. As a result, Pakistan has since been required to submit quarterly progress reports, instead of biannual, to the APG, to show improvements in its technical standards on AML/CFT.

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