Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering, a FATF style regional intergovernmental international body, has decided to retain Pakistan on its “Enhanced Follow-Up” list due to limited progress made by the country on the technical recommendations of the FATF regarding anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorist financing (CTF).
Founded in 1997, APG is a regional affiliate of FATF and has 41 member states. Countries that become APG members must also commit to the recommendations of the FATF.
In its First Follow-Up Report (FUR), the APG has revealed that Pakistan has ensured complete compliance on just 2 out of the 40 recommendations of the FATF concerning AML and CTF.
Moreover, Pakistan has been largely compliant on 9, partially compliant on 25, and non-compliant on 4 recommendations of the FATF.
FUR further added:
Pakistan will remain in Enhanced Follow-Up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML and CFT measures.
APG has also noted that Pakistan has made substantial progress on the remaining 13 out of the 27 action points of the FATF’s AML and CTF action plan as well.
It added that the Pakistani government has recently signed 15 legislations into law in an attempt to reconcile the country’s legal system with international standards required by the FATF.
It is worth recalling that in June 2018, the FATF had placed Pakistan on its grey list due to strategic shortcomings in its AML and CTF regime after strong lobbying from India supported by the US, the UK, and the European Union (EU).
After Pakistan’s placement on FATF’s grey list, the Pakistani government had committed to a 27-point action plan to remove deficiencies from its AML and CTF regime.
The FATF will decide whether to remove Pakistan from its ‘grey list’ or move it to its ‘blacklist’ in a virtual meeting of the global financial watchdog scheduled from 21 to 23 October.