Pakistan action against terror funding not satisfactory: FATF body

Almost three months after Pakistan was placed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list for failing to curb terror funding, Pakistan’s recent action against terror financing, particularly on the “legal” front, was found to be “unsatisfactory”, according to a review by the Asia Pacific Policy Group (APPG).

The APPG examines cases of all countries on the grey and blacklists and reports to the FATF.

Reasons for the poor performance:

Not much has been achieved by Pakistan, especially on the legal side (like freezing of assets, attachment of funds, militant groups infrastructures etc).

Another review for Pakistan will be held in December this year following which a final evaluation report will be prepared. For Pakistan, the first deadline is January 2019 failing which they may face more heat. By then, Pakistan will have to publish updated lists of persons and entities prescribed under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the UN-designated entities.

It is the FATF-style regional body for the Asia-Pacific region. It is an inter-governmental organization founded in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The APG consists of 41 member jurisdictions and a number of observer jurisdictions and international/regional observer organizations.

Under the APG’s Terms of Reference (updated 2012) membership is available for jurisdictions with a presence in the Asia-Pacific region who commit to the policy objectives of the organisation including undergoing a mutual evaluation (peer review) to determine the level of compliance of the member with the international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Observer status is available to any jurisdiction in the Asia-Pacific region interested in becoming a member or any other jurisdiction which supports the goals and work of the APG.

International organizations which support the work of the APG may also join as supporting observers.

Jurisdictions that join the APG, either as members or as observers, must commit to implementing the international standards against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation financing (WMD), in particular, the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). These standards were substantially updated in 2012 and are supplemented by a complex assessment methodology in 2013 which forms the benchmark for mutual evaluations.

The APG has five primary functions:

The APG assesses the levels of compliance by its member jurisdictions with the global AML/CFT standards through a mutual evaluation (peer review) programme;

The APG Secretariat coordinates bi-lateral and donor-agency technical assistance and training in the Asia/Pacific region for its member jurisdictions in order to improve compliance with the global standards;

Research and analysis into money laundering and terrorist financing methods and trends is a key function of the APG to assist policy and lawmakers as well as law enforcement agencies and the general public to identify and respond to new and emerging trends, methods, risks, and vulnerabilities;

The APG contributes to international AML/CFT policy development and actively engages with the global network of FSRBs. The APG also participates in a number of FATF working groups and in its plenary meetings; and

Private sector engagement is critical to the APG’s overall objectives. The APG actively engages with financial and non-financial institutions, NPOs, training centers, and universities in the Asia-Pacific to better inform the general public and specialists about global issues relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

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