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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been moved from enhanced (expedited) to enhanced follow-up list by the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering and the country will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of the AML/CFT measures.

The second follow-up Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on Pakistan uploaded by the AGP group on its website stated that overall, Pakistan has made notable progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER, Pakistan has been re-rated on 22 recommendations, and has been downgraded as non-compliant from partially compliant in one recommendation.

The APG has re-rated Pakistan in five recommendations as compliant and largely compliant in 15 recommendations, Pakistan has been re-rated as partially compliant in one recommendation, while it made insufficient progress to re-rate one recommendation.

According to the APG report, Pakistan has 31 recommendations rated compliant or largely compliant (C/LC) and will move from enhanced (expedited) to enhanced follow-up, Pakistan will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

Pakistan submitted its third progress report in February 2021. The Finance Ministry, in a statement, said that the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering has published results of Pakistan’s second Mutual Evaluation Follow-up Report on 2 June 2021. As per the report, Pakistan has achieved compliant/largely compliant rating in 31 out of 40 FATF Recommendations in Technical Compliance.

These results prove the sincerity along with resolve of the government in complying with the FATF requirements.

These results are also a manifestation of the irreversibility and sustainability of the complete process in bringing Pakistan at par with Global AML/CFT standards.

These results are manifestation of a whole of government approach adopted to achieve the same.

An upgrade of 21 recommendations within this short period of time remains unprecedented in the FATF history. The FATF’s Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) of jurisdictions is assessed in two domains i.e., technical compliance/legal instruments (40 FATF recommendations) and demonstration of effectiveness (11 immediate outcomes). Pakistan’s MER was adopted in October 2019, in which Pakistan was rated compliant and largely compliant in 10 out of 40 FATF recommendations for the Technical Compliance.

After adoption of MER, Pakistan was placed under Post Observation Period by the FATF, which expired in February 2021.

During the said period, Pakistan carried out major legal reforms with the enactment of 14 federal laws and three provincial laws along with relevant rules and regulations.

Pakistan submitted its report to the FATF on its Technical Compliance on 1st October 2020.

The APG has acknowledged that Pakistan has made notable progress in addressing the Technical Compliance deficiencies identified in its MER and has been re-rated compliant/largely compliant in 31 out of 40 FATF recommendations. Pakistan has also submitted re-rating requests to the APG on four more recommendations in next follow-up report, which are under review by the APG.

The technical upgrades achieved will help manifest achievement of effectiveness in 11 immediate outcomes of the APG MER process.

As a result of this substantial progress, the APG has decided to move Pakistan from enhanced (expedited) to enhanced follow-up; and Pakistan will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of the AML/CFT measures.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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