ISLAMABAD  -  Talks between the Asia Pacific Group team and Pakistan started Monday as the visiting delegation is reviewing compliance of the country on Financial Action Task Force action plan and global obligations against money laundering and terror financing.

The FATF Asia-Pacific team reached Islamabad on Sunday night and will be in the country till October 19. A high-level team from Pakistan comprising officials from the ministry of finance, Federal Board of Revenue, ministry of interior, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank of Pakistan and National Accountability Bureau is holding meetings with the visiting APG delegation.

On Monday, Pakistan briefed the delegation regarding actions taken against money laundering so far. Sources said the government informed the APG delegation that it was introducing amendments in FIA Act 1974, Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947, Customs Act 1969 and the AML Act 2010 to strengthen punitive regime against ‘hundi/hawala’ and other illegal channels of foreign exchange transactions.

The government would soon table the amended laws in the parliament for approval, the delegation was told. The delegation was told that the government had decided to give additional powers to FIA to deal with money laundering issues.

The delegation was informed that the SECP had intensified its efforts to combat terror financing and money laundering by asking companies to comply with Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010. The SECP had directed all officers of the companies to endeavour to prevent fraud and money laundering, including predicated offences as provided in Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 with respect to affairs of a company.

Sources said the AGP team would review administrative and legal measures taken by the government to stop monetary assistance to terrorists. Furthermore, several recommendations to determine money trail have also been given the green light.  An alleged terrorist organisation, Al-Rahman Trust, has also been banned by the government, sources said.

A report regarding measures taken by the government to curb financial assistance to terrorists will be presented in a meeting of the FATF, scheduled to be held later this year.

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 allowing monetary assistance to terrorism and related causes.