Pak to be declared 'high-risk country' if it fails to upgrade money laundering laws

      If Pakistan fails to upgrade its existing anti-money laundering laws before February 2010, it will have to face severe financial penalties from international organisations that includes being declared a "high-risk country." The Daily Times quoted the State Bank of Pakistan officials as telling the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on Friday: "If Pakistan gets declared a "high-risk country", the country's letter of credit (LC) would not be honoured abroad and there would be difficulties in international trade." Despite the last ultimatum by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, Pakistan had not upgraded its existing Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance, 2007, which is expiring on November 28. "If the required up-gradations are not made by that time, then anti-money laundering regulations would be non-existent in the country," Finance Secretary Salman Siddique told the committee. Pakistan is a signatory to various UN conventions that require laws in line with international standards to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

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