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Govt to curb money laundering-terror financing: Asad Umar

20 October, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Friday reiterated his government’s commitment to curb money laundering and terror financing in line with international guidelines during a meeting with a delegation of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body on money laundering.

The delegation, headed by APG Executive Secretary Gordon Hook, informed the finance minister about the objectives of its trip, and of meetings it would hold with relevant stakeholders.

Meanwhile, media reports stated that in its recommendations following the 3rd Mutual Evaluation Process of Pakistan, the APG technical experts suggested that more actions should be taken to put an end to money laundering and terror financing.

The third round continued for a week and a half in the federal capital, ending on Friday. The nine-member delegation have finalised a report with a set of recommendations for the country to get off the grey-list of the FATF.

The group is likely to provide Pakistan the first report until November 19 and return in March or April 2019 for a follow up visit. The final report is expected to be made public in July 2019.

Media reports suggested that the APG team had found Pakistan compliant in more than 50 per cent of the recommendations. However, this alone would not be sufficient to come out of the grey list.

The reports stated that the country has been found to be mostly compliant in legislation on money laundering and terror financing, but implementation was a problem.

Earlier in August, as part of the pre-site mutual evaluation, the APG identified a series of gaps in Pakistan’s anti-money laundering (AML)/counter-terror financing (CFT) laws and mechanisms. The report was sent to Pakistan with recommendations.

In response, Pakistan provided details of measures taken in compliance with the recommendations.

On October 5, Pakistan received another technical compliance annexure from APG which further highlighted deficiencies in the AML/CFT measures that Islamabad needs to take.

The visiting assessment team comprised Ashraf Abdulla, Financial Intelligence Unit, Maldives; Boby Wahyu Hernawan, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia; Gong Jingyan, People’s Bank of China; Ian Collins, New Scotland Yard, United Kingdom; James Prussing, Department of the Treasury, United States; and Mustafa Necmeddin OZTOP, Ministry of Justice, Turkey. Three members of the APG secretariat included Gordon Hook, Executive Secretary; Mohammad Al-Rashdan, Deputy Director; and Shannon Rutherford, Deputy Director.

The round of meetings was attended by officials of the ministries of interior, finance, foreign affairs and law besides the State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, National Counter-Terrorism Authority, FIA, Federal Board of Revenue, National Accountability Bureau, Anti-Narcotics Force, FMU, Central Directorate of National Savings and provincial counter-terrorism departments.

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