Indian officials, including representatives from enforcement agencies, on Friday 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 .
The EAG 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. The FATF's virtual plenary meet will be held on June 24, which will also be attended by the officials concerned through video-conferencing.
Pakistan, which continues to remain on the “grey list” of FATF , had earlier been given the deadline till the June plenary to ensure compliance with the 27-point action plan against terror funding networks and money laundering syndicates, or face “ black listing ”.
Ahead of the crucial meet, 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.
In the wake of the pandemic, leading to the lockdown and travel restrictions, the FATF had on April 28 decided to extend its assessment and follow-up deadlines. It observed that the situation had “significantly impacted countries’ ability to actively participate in mutual evaluation and related follow-up processes”.
The FATF also decided “on a general pause in the review process for the list of high-risk jurisdictions subject to a call for action and jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring, by granting jurisdictions an additional four months for deadlines”.
The global watchdog, which is actively monitoring the impact of the pandemic on measures to combat illicit financing, released a paper last month 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.