Pakistan will remain in FATF ‘grey list’, Turkey added too

Pakistan will continue to remain on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) increased monitoring list, also known as the ‘grey list,’ till February 2022 as it has failed to curb terror financing of UN proscribed terrorists living on its soil. Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday also placed Turkey on its grey list for failing to check terror financing.

Paris [France] : The Paris-based financial watchdog called on Islamabad to address deficiencies related to anti-money laundering and combat financing of terrorism. Pakistan has been on the FATF’s increased monitoring list since June 2018. FATF announced the decision at a press conference on Thursday after the culmination of its three-day hybrid plenary that began on October 19.
The delegates discussed key issues in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the plenary.
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer said that Pakistan had to complete two concurrent action plans with a total of 34 items. “It has now addressed or largely addressed 30 of the items,” he said.
The FATF has been examining how data pooling and collaborative analytics can be used to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
FATF plenary took place under the German Presidency of Dr Marcus Pleyer and delegates representing 205 members of the Global Network and observer organisations including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
The global financial watchdog asked Pakistan to address its strategically important deficiencies and provide evidence that it actively seeks to enhance the impact of sanctions beyond its jurisdiction by nominating additional individuals and entities for designation at the United Nations.
“Pakistan should continue to work to address its other strategically important AML/CFT deficiencies, namely by providing evidence that it actively seeks to enhance the impact of sanctions beyond its jurisdiction by nominating additional individuals and entities for designation at the UN; and demonstrating an increase in ML investigations and prosecutions and that proceeds of crime continue to be restrained and confiscated in line with Pakistan’s risk profile, including working with foreign counterparts to trace, freeze, and confiscate assets,” Pleyer said.
The FATF, in its last session in June, had kept Pakistan on the watchdog’s “increased monitoring list” till it addressed the single remaining item on the original action plan agreed to in June 2018 as well as all items on a parallel action plan given by the Asia Pacific Group — the FATF’s regional affiliate.
Pakistan was given a plan of action and a deadline to complete it by October 2019.
Recent targeted attacks by Pakistan-backed terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir expose the state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan.

FATF places Turkey on grey list for failing to check terror financing

“Turkey had a mutual evaluation, assessment in late 2019. The report outlined a large number of serious issues regarding Turkey’s effort to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Since then, Turkey has made some progress across all areas of concern, however, serious issues remain,” said FATF president Dr Marcus Pleyer. “This includes issues concerning supervision, in particular high-risk sectors such as banks, precious stone dealers, and real estate agents,” said Pleyer.
Three countries were added to the grey list: Jordan, Mali and Turkey.
He also took notice of Turkey’s clampdown on non-profit organisations (NPOs).
“The FATF is aware of human rights groups’ concerns about Turkey treatment of non-profit organisations (NPOs). Turkey needs to implement a truly risk-based approach to NPOs and ensure authorities don’t disrupt or discourage legitimate activity,” said Pleyer.
FATF president also advised Turkey to effectively tackle complex money-laundering cases.
“Turkey needs to show it is effectively tackling complex money-laundering cases and show it is pursuing terrorist financing prosecutions in line with its risks and prioritizing cases of UN-designated terrorist organisations such as ISIL and Al Qaeda,” said Pleyer.
“It is crucial for Turkey to make sure that it effectively tackles money laundering and terrorist financing, serious organised crimes and corruption,” added Pleyer.
He urged Turkey to turn its commitment to concrete action regarding money laundering and terror financing.
“The Turkish govt has given a high-level political commitment to continue to make necessary changes. I urge them to turn that commitment to concrete action,” said Pleyer.
The move is a heavy blow to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its economy is fragile and has recorded heavy losses against the US dollar and it will curtail its power to raise international investment.
Meanwhile, Botswana and Mauritius were removed from the grey list. Both countries gave high-level commitment to implement reforms to improve their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finances.

Decision to retain Pakistan on grey list made by consensus : FATF president

FATF president Dr Marcus Pleyer on Thursday said the decision to include Pakistan in the grey list was taken by consensus and not by just one country.
Answering a question from a journalist at the press conference here, Pleyer stated that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a technical body and the decision to retain Islamabad was made by consensus. He dismissed reports of any possible political connotation regarding the global financial watchdog’s decision. “FATF is a technical body and we take our decision by consensus, so not only one country that makes the decision, the FATF contains 39 jurisdictions and also the decision on Pakistan was taken by consensus,” said Pleyer.
FATF president made this comment after Pakistan was once again retained on the ‘grey list’ following the conclusion of the three-day Plenary to discuss issues related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

“Pakistan remains under increased monitoring (grey list). The Pakistan government has two concurrent action plans, with a total of 34 action plan items. It has now addressed or largely addressed 30 of the items,” FATF President said during a presser.
Pakistan has been on the FATF’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018.
Earlier in July, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar had credited the Narendra Modi government for ensuring Pakistan is included in the FATF grey list.
Jaishankar while virtually addressing BJP leaders’ training program on the foreign policy of the Modi government, made members aware that it is due to the government’s efforts on global forums that sanctions were imposed on terrorists from Jaish and LeT.
“Due to us, Pakistan is under the lens of FATF and it was kept in the grey list. We have been successful in pressurizing Pakistan and the fact that Pakistan’s behaviour has changed is because of pressure put by India by various measures,” Jaishankar reportedly told the leaders. 

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