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FATF: Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia fail to criminalize terrorist financing

February 26, 2012

The world’s leading financial watchdog has added Pakistan and Indonesia to its blacklist of deficient jurisdictions.  Iran was also once again named by FATF for its failure to criminalize the funding of terrorism.  What they all have in common is that none of them has sufficient laws on the books to combat the financing of terrorism or freeze terrorist assets.

Here are some excerpts from FATF’s Feb. 16 statement:

The FATF remains particularly and exceptionally concerned about Iran’s failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system, despite Iran’s previous engagement with the FATF.

The FATF reaffirms its call on members and urges all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to give special attention to business relationships and transactions with Iran, including Iranian companies and financial institutions. In addition to enhanced scrutiny, the FATF reaffirms its 25 February 2009 call on its members and urges all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures to protect their financial sectors from money laundering and financing of terrorism (ML/FT) risks emanating from Iran. FATF continues to urge jurisdictions to protect against correspondent relationships being used to bypass or evade counter-measures and risk mitigation practices and to take into account ML/FT risks when considering requests by Iranian financial institutions to open branches and subsidiaries in their jurisdiction. Due to the continuing terrorist financing threat emanating from Iran, jurisdictions should consider the steps already taken and possible additional safeguards or strengthen existing ones.

The FATF urges Iran to immediately and meaningfully address its AML/CFT deficiencies, in particular by criminalising terrorist financing and effectively implementing suspicious transaction reporting (STR) requirements. If Iran fails to take concrete steps to improve its CFT regime, the FATF will consider calling on its members and urging all jurisdictions to strengthen counter-measures in June 2012…

Indonesia has taken significant steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by enacting AML legislation in 2010 and developing draft comprehensive CFT legislation. Despite Indonesia’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, Indonesia has not made sufficient progress in implementing its action plan, and certain strategic AML/CFT deficiencies remain. Indonesia should work on implementing its action plan to address these deficiencies, including by: (1) adequately criminalising terrorist financing (Special Recommendation II); (2) establishing and implementing adequate procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets (Special Recommendation III); and (3) amending and implementing laws or other instruments to fully implement the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism (Special Recommendation I). The FATF encourages Indonesia to address its remaining deficiencies and continue the process of implementing its action plan…

Pakistan has taken significant steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by enhancing the capacity of its FIU, approving an AML/CFT strategy, and by ensuring training is provided to relevant stakeholders. Despite Pakistan’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, Pakistan has not made sufficient progress in implementing its action plan, and certain AML/CFT deficiencies remain. Specifically, Pakistan needs to enact legislation to ensure that it meets the FATF standards regarding the terrorist financing offence (SR II) and the ability to identify, freeze, and confiscate terrorist assets (Special Recommendation III). The FATF encourages Pakistan to address the remaining deficiencies and continue to implement its action plan, including by demonstrating effective regulation of money service providers and implementing effective controls for cross-border cash transactions (Special Recommendation VI and Special Recommendation IX).

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