Asia Pacific Group asks Pak to enact appropriate laws to curb ‘terror financing’

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Islamabad: An international delegation monitoring Pakistan’s commitments to the global financial watchdog FATF has urged Islamabad to make terror financing and money laundering extraditable offences, a media report said today.

The Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering, which is currently in Pakistan, will submit a report to the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which placed Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ in June.

The APG’s Mutual Evaluation report can play a critical role in retaining or removing Pakistan from the list after September next year.

Islamabad needs to comply by the end of September next year with a 10-point action plan it committed to the FATF in June to combat terror financing and money laundering to get out of the grey list or else fall into the black list.

Placement on the grey list hurts a country’s economy as well as its international standing.

The Express Tribune reported that delegation yesterday urged Pakistan to enact appropriate laws, enabling local officials to act upon requests of foreign countries to freeze illegal assets and extradite those involved in terrorism financing and money laundering.

The delegation met officials of the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of the State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs and interior.

It urged the country to make terror financing and money laundering extraditable offences.

Highlighting deficiencies in Pakistan’s legal framework, the visiting APG team pointed out that this could hamper Pakistan’s effective response on requests of mutual legal assistance by foreign countries in money laundering cases, officials said.

Stressing the need for strengthening domestic legal framework by October, members of the APG team an on-site inspection would be carried out by the regional body after this period.

It also urged the authorities concerned to give predicate offence monitoring powers to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The team comprises officials from the US, Turkey, China and the UK. Officials from the US Treasury and the UK’s New Scotland Yard are part of the delegation. PTI