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FATF's Asia-Pacific Group raises questions on Pak's efforts to curb terror financing

ANI | Updated: May 17, 2019 21:16 IST

Beijing [China], May 17 (ANI): The Asia-Pacific Group (APG), a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), on Friday questioned Pakistan's seriousness to curb proscribed terror outfits and act against money laundering and terror financing.
A 10-member delegation, led by Finance Secretary Mohammad Younas Dagha, attended the two-day meeting of the APG in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, where it defended Pakistan's efforts against money laundering and terror financing, Dawn reported.
In the meeting, the Pakistani delegation briefed the APG group about the country's updated actions against currency smuggling, proscribed organisations, tightening of financial and corporate sector systems and operational effectiveness.
According to reports from China, some participants of the meeting, particularly those from India, raised very tough questions about Pakistan's seriousness to act against proscribed organisations and the effectiveness of internal controls.
On May 3, India urged the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime following the listing of Jaish-e Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations.
The APG will submit to the FATF its analysis of the compliance report submitted by Pakistan at the meeting, which concluded yesterday, and the progress made since the group's on-site inspection in Islamabad and Karachi in March, the report said.
The APG report will become the basis for the FATF to decide whether to exclude Pakistan from its greylist or not.
In the report, Pakistan cited arrests of key operatives of some proscribed outfits, putting more such groups and their affiliates in the list of banned outfits, blocking their accounts and financial flows, and taking control of their assets.
The Pakistani delegation also said that the country was very close to accomplishing the milestones under the FATF action plan well before the September deadline.
It also said the government recently revised its national risk assessment of the corporate sector, strengthened customs procedures on borders and inland movement of funds and assets.
In March, bowing down to international pressure, Pakistan launched a major crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammad, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation and other banned outfits and took control of their assets throughout the country.
Besides, internal control of the banking and non-banking financial institutions, insurance companies and stock exchanges has been strengthened to curb the possibility of money laundering and terror financing.
The delegation also reported the creation of a specialised directorate of Cross-Border Currency Movement (CBCM) in Islamabad to maintain a database of currency seizures.
The APG had earlier flashed contradictory situations and poor coordination among stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, in fighting money laundering and terror financing in Pakistan.
Last month, the APG delegation had expressed serious reservations over insufficient physical actions on ground against proscribed organisations to block the flow of funds and activities.
The APG meeting also comes after the cash-strapped country secured a six billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund to meet its balance of payment and trade deficits. (ANI)

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