India gears up for FATF audit that Pakistan has repeatedly failed since 2018

As the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) hauls Pakistan over the coals for terror financing, India gets set for the anti-money laundering watchdog’s audit in autumn later this year.

While the FATF left Pakistan in its ‘grey list’ this week for failing to curb terror funding, India will undergo the watchdog’s mutual evaluation process — a review of the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing system against internationally agreed standards.

In the previous peer review in 2010, India was found to be “largely compliant” on the 40 parameters set by the FATF. Now, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), India’s economic intelligence and prosecuting agency to probe financial fraud, is gearing up for the same process.

According to a government official, a team of ED officers have pulled out old records on number of charge-sheets filed, convictions secured, cases registered, investigations completed and properties attached post 2013-14, when the last follow-up report was filed.

In the upcoming audit, FATF will evaluate India’s preparedness to deal with financial crimes, the official said on condition of anonymity.

“The FATF will basically look at three things — if there are legislative provisions in place to fight financial crime, the effectiveness of the agencies and if there is sufficient international cooperation with India on curbing these crimes,” the source said.

In an emailed response to ThePrint, the FATF said India’s review process is likely to be completed by the end of 2021.

“The India mutual evaluation is due to start in the autumn of this year. It is expected to last around 18 months with an onsite visit expected in Spring 2021. The evaluation is expected to be completed by late 2021,” said the watchdog.

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