In another setback for Pakistan, the United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday added the country to its list of 'high-risk states' with regards to money laundering and terror financing. The list of 21 nations is said to be posing a 'threat' due to their weak tax controls and lack of check and balance on terrorism financing and money laundering, as per the UK Government.
The UK had on March 26 rolled out the 'Amendment of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2021' listing, a new regulation in the post-Brexit regime. Under this, the UK Government substituted "a country which has been identified by the European Commission as a high-risk third country in delegated acts adopted under Article 9.2 of the fourth money laundering directive" with "a high-risk third country."
The list, which includes 21 'high-risk third countries' also features North Korea, Syria, Barbados, Yemen, Myanmar, Iran, Mauritius, Morocco, Panama, Cambodia, Jamaica, Ghana, Nicaragua, Senegal, Uganda, Botswana, Albania, Cayman Islands, Burkina Faso, and Zimbabwe.
The UK Government's decision to include Pakistan in its 'high risk' regulation could have major implications on the nation which has been desperately trying to get of FATF's 'Grey List' since June 2018.
On February 26, the Financial Action Task Force announced that the country would continue to remain on its 'Grey List' till the time it does not demonstrate 'effective implementation' of targeted financial sanctions against all its designated terrorists. This came after the Imran Khan-led government failed to implement 27 action points essential for its re-designation.
Issuing a statement, the FATF said, "Pakistan should demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists."The body will hold its next meeting in June to re-analyze the nation's progress.