Islamabad - Mutual Evaluation Team of Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) will today (Monday) start a two-week review of Pakistan’s compliance with International Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Regulations 2018.

Pakistan is undergoing its 3rd Mutual Evaluation(ME) process by Asia/ Pacific Group on Money Laundering and in this regard a Mutual Evaluation Team of APG will embark on two-week visit to Pakistan starting from October 8 to October 19,” according to the official documents available with The Nation.

“The purpose of the Mutual Evaluation onsite visit is to gauge the effectiveness of Pakistan AML/CFT Regime under FATF’s effectiveness methodology,” said the agenda of the visit available with the scribe.

According to the documents, the assessment team of the delegation comprises Mr. Ian Collins, New Scotland Yard, United Kingdom, Mr.James Prussing, Department of the Treasury United States, Mr. Ashraf Abdulla, Financial Intelligence Unit, Maldives, Mr. Boby Wahyu Hernawan, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia, Mr. Gong Jingyan, People’s Bank of China, China, and Mr. Mustafa Necmeddin Oztop, Ministry of Justice, Turkey.

During the onsite visit, the APG assessment team would meet with the representatives of various stakeholders including ministries, law enforcement agencies, Nacta, financial sector regulators, regulated entities of State Bank of Pakistan, SECP, designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNB&P), FMU, attorney general, bar council, NPOs, provincial CTDs etc.

The APG team has strictly asked Pakistan’s officials to not waste time by opening and closing presentations during the meetings, the document revealed. “If presentations have been prepared please provide that material to the assessors (APG delegation) before the on-site or scheduled meeting rather than deliver the presentation during the meeting,” the documents said. The time allocated for each meeting is brief and assessors need as much time as possible to pose questions, said the documents.

According to FATF, “In June 2018, Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorism financing-related deficiencies”.

It is pertinent to mention here that a team of APG Secretariat and international assessors visited Pakistan from August 13 to August 17 in connection with mutual evaluation of the country’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regime. The APG had sought Pakistan’s replies on 150 pages of technical compliance questionnaires with deadline of August 31. The questionnaire was mainly related to extradition treaties signed with different countries and possibility of revision with inclusion of offences of money laundering and terror financing in revised format.

The APG also demanded of Pakistan to ensure documentation of all kinds of financial transactions and charities to curb activities of prescribed militant organizations. The upcoming visit of the APG will review Pakistan’s response on technical compliance questionnaire.

FATF, a global body that combats terror financing and money laundering in its meeting held in Paris in June, had formally added Pakistan to the grey list of countries involved in providing monetary assistance to terrorism and related causes.

The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering is an inter-governmental organisation, consisting of 41-member jurisdictions, focused on ensuring that its members effectively implement the international standards against money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing related to weapons of mass destruction. Pakistan is member to Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) the purpose of which is to ensure the adoption, implementation and enforcement of internationally accepted anti money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards as set out in the FATF 40 recommendations and FATF eight special recommendations. The effort includes assisting countries and territories of the region in enacting laws to deal with the proceeds of crime, mutual legal assistance, confiscation, forfeiture and extradition; providing guidance in setting up systems for reporting and investigating suspicious transactions and helping in the establishment of financial intelligence units.