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UK puts Pakistan on ‘high risk’ states over money laundering, terror financing 

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In a setback for Islamabad, the United Kingdom in its new amended regulations on money laundering, terror financing has listed Pakistan under high-risk states. Pakistan is listed under 21 ‘high-risk third countries’, which includes North Korea, Syria, Zimbabwe, Syria, Yemen. 

The ‘Amendment of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017’ has the amendment listing out the new list which includes Pakistan. The regulation came into effect on March 26. 

The new regulation is a post-Brexit regime and mentioned that replacement of “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 new substitute “a high-risk third country”. 

Pakistan strongly reacted to the development and said, “UK’s assessment leading to the subject regulation is not based on facts”, asking London to “review its regulations” and “avoid politically motivated and misplaced measures.” 

The development comes even as the Financial Action Task Force or FATF’s sword continues to hang on Pakistan. The country has been on the financial watchdog’s grey list since June 2018, impacting its economy. In the February meeting, the body decided to keep Pakistan on the grey list and gave more time to implement its 27-point action plan. It called on Pakistan to address deficiencies, including “demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for or on their behalf.” 

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