FATF / APG issue: Federal government clarifies the media reports

FATF / APG issue: Federal government clarifies the media reports

ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Finance on Monday clarified the news report on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) issues.

Referring to a news report on Pakistan’s FATF and APG issues, in a statement, the ministry said that Pakistan is passing through two separate processes, one is FATF Action Plan and another is regular assessment of AML/CFT regime. It said that the FATF Action Plan has been agreed with FATF and is being implemented with timelines from Jan-2019 till September 2019. Its progress is being monitored by FATF on quarterly basis. The focus of this action plan is on the implementation of TF regime in Pakistan, it added.

The regular APG assessment is part of Pakistan’s APG membership requirements and every country in the globe is required to undergo assessment of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.

It said that Pakistan’s assessment is being conducted by APG and assessment team from China, Turkey, UK, USA, Indonesia and Maldives. The purpose of the assessment is to gauge the level of compliance on key AML/CFT areas including adequacy and effectiveness of laws, policies and coordination, implementation of preventive measures, powers and capacity of FMU, supervisory and law enforcement agencies, use of financial intelligence and international cooperation.

It said that during the onsite visit (October 8-19, 2018) to Pakistan, the APG assessment team held meetings with all Pakistan’s AML/CFT stakeholders.

This process will culminate in July 2019 in APG’s annual meeting and in between draft reports would be exchanged with APG including one face to face meeting in April 2019. Both processes like FATF Action Plan and APG’s mutual evaluation are distinct and may not be mixed while reporting in press.

It is pertinent to mention that all countries undergo regular mutual evaluation process using a global assessment methodology and procedures. As of date the AML/CFT assessments of 60 countries have been completed across the globe out of which 16 countries are the members of APG. It is the third mutual evaluation of Pakistan the first two were held in 2004 and 2009 respectively.

The ministry also clarified that APG assessment team headed by APG’s Executive Secretary Gordon Hook held a courtesy meeting with Finance Minister and discussed Pakistan’s overall AML/CFT regime.

The Finance Minister during the meeting with APG team assured Pakistan’s strong commitment for a robust AML/CFT regime as per international standards and highlighted Pakistan’s measures on this front. The APG team also did not share any assessment in written or verbal forms whether Pakistan will continue to remain on FATF Gray list or not.

No other issues were discussed with the Finance Minister by APG delegation except this matter for which a press release was also issued by the Ministry of Finance on October 17, 2018. - APP