Recently, India has attended the virtual 32nd special Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) plenary meeting, under the aegis of the Financial Action Task Force.
Officials of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement agencies submitted details on terror-funding.
The FATF’s virtual plenary meet is scheduled to be held on 24th June 2020.
It is a regional body comprising nine countries: India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus.
It is an associate member of the FATF.
Financial Action Task Force
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris.
The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
Its Secretariat is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.
Member Countries: it consists of thirty-seven member jurisdictions.
India is one of the members.
FATF has two lists:
Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.
Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities. The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.
The FATF Plenary is the decision making body of the FATF. It meets three times per year.
FATF’S View on Crime amid Covid-19:
The FATF which is actively monitoring the impact of the pandemic on measures to combat illicit financing, released a paper on “Covid-19-related Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risks and Policy Responses”.
It observed an increase in the Covid-19 related crimes, including fraud, cyber-crime, misdirection or exploitation of government funds or international finance assistance.
India and FATF:
Ahead of the crucial meet on 24th June, India plans to share more evidence with the key FATF members on the narco-terror cases linked to Pakistan-based syndicates, through which funds are allegedly being supplied to the terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Enforcement Directorate and the National Investigation Agency have been probing several such cases.
Status of Pakistan:
Pakistan, which continues to remain on the “grey list” of FATF, had earlier been given the deadline till the June 2020 to ensure compliance with the 27-point action plan against terror funding networks and money laundering syndicates, or face “black listing”.
However, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline has been shifted to October 2020.