PARIS (AP) — An international agency that monitors terrorism funding kept North Korea and Iran as the only two countries on its black list but added four new places to its watch list for increased monitoring, the organization’s president said Thursday.
The Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, added Morocco, Burkina Faso, Senegal and the Cayman Islands to the watch list during a plenary session this week, and kept Pakistan on the list despite the country’s progress, the agency’s president, Marcus Pleyer, said.
With the four additions, the so-called gray list now has 19 countries and territories that FATF said are only partially fulfilling international rules for fighting terrorism financing and money laundering.
Pakistan has made “significant progress in its effort to improve its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework,” Pleyer said during a news conference. “However, some serious deficiencies remain,” all in areas related to terrorist financing, he said.
Of the 27 items on the action plan Pakistan signed onto after landing on the gray list in 2018, three “still need to be fully addressed,” the FATF chief said.
“I strongly urge completion of the action plan,” Pleyer said. Pakistan’s status will be reviewed again at an extraordinary plenary session in June, he said.
North Korea and Iran remain the only two countries on the black list. The designation means international financial transactions with those countries are closely scrutinized, making it costly and cumbersome to do business with them. International creditors can also place restrictions on lending to black-listed countries.
The FATF said that the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped criminals from exploiting it for their financial gain.