Pakistan to enact legislation to fully implement FATF action plan: Report
Pakistan will have to enact additional laws to facilitate action by authorities to apprehend and prosecute people involved in terror financing in order to fully implement the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) action plan.
This was decided at a meeting of senior officials chaired by Pakistan’s finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to review anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing efforts in the aftermath of FATF’s plenary meeting last month.
At the conclusion of the plenary meeting on February 25, FATF retained Pakistan in its “grey list” and asked the country to complete the action plan to counter terror financing before June, including steps to investigate and prosecute individuals and entities involved in such activities.
FATF said Pakistan had “largely addressed” 24 of the 27 items in the action plan. However, FATF president Marcus Pleyer pointed out the deficiencies yet to be addressed are all “serious” as they relate to terror financing.
During the meeting of Pakistan’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on anti-money laundering chaired by Shaikh on Monday, it was decided that additional legislation will have to be enacted on at least two counts to implement FATF’s action plan by June, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The additional legislation has to “cover some weaknesses in the existing framework that limited the authorities from taking action, including imposing sanction or apprehending those acting for or on behalf of designated terrorist entities or individuals and prosecuting targeted persons and entities or those working for them”, the report said.
The Dawn quoted its sources as saying that the meeting was informed reasonable progress had been made on one of the three remaining items in the FATF action plan “but two areas that required additional legislation would be time consuming”.
The Pakistan government will also have to submit an updated report within 30 days to FATF on progress in legislation and other steps to be taken to address outstanding concerns. The meeting concluded there shouldn’t be any hurdle in making two more legal amendments, the report said.
Shaikh asked the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and chairman of the FATF coordination committee, industries minister Hammad Azhar, to finalise the timelines for the additional legislation in consultation with the federal government and armed forces.
“The strict adherence to timelines would culminate into successful completion of the FATF action plan,” Shaikh was quoted as saying in an official statement.
A statement issued by FATF at the conclusion of its plenary meeting had said the outstanding actions for Pakistan include demonstrating that terror financing investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf of the designated terrorists, showing that prosecutions result in “effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions”, and demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all designated terrorists.