UAE’s New Scandal, Money Laundering and Suspicious Trafficking
UAE has become a sanctuary for criminals and fugitives
A new major corruption UAE scandal followed another episode of the series the involvement of its ruling regime in crimes of money laundering and trafficking, this time affecting the banking sector in the country.
Leaked documents and data revealed that the new scandal is haunting the UAE after the involvement of 28 banks operating on its territory in money laundry operations with huge amounts of $10.2 billion out of $11.2 billion.
The documents revealed were part of an international investigative journalist investigation. It showed that vast amounts of suspicious money flowed for years through the largest banking institutions in the world. This comes in light of large gaps in the laws of the banking sector that criminals easily exploit in various regions of the world, most notably Dubai.
The investigation was conducted by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), with the participation of 108 media organizations from 88 countries.
The investigation stated that the profits from the bloody drug gang wars, the wealth was stolen from developing countries and the savings that their owners worked hard to collect. The money was robbed in a fraudulent Ponzi manner allowed to flow to and from these banking institutions despite the warnings these banks’ employees.
The investigation is based on thousands of leaked documents of suspicious activity reports that were filed with the Financial Crime Agency at the US Treasury.
“These documents – which were collected by banks and shared with governments but kept out of public sight – reveal gaps in the protection measures of banks and the ease with which criminals exploit them.”
The documents, called the “FinCEN Files”, talk about transfers of nearly two trillion dollars in suspicious funds that were circulating between 1999 and 2017.
The “Vincent” scandal shook global public opinion, in light of the continuing state of confusion in the international banking sector following the announcement of the involvement of more than one bank, all over the world, in suspicious money laundering operations over two decades. The leaks indicate the involvement of about 35 banks in the Gulf.
The leaks, which caused a major shock in the global markets, included the transfer of dirty money to suspicious destinations in various parts of the world, through banking operations that took place through 28 banks in the UAE.
The total amount of suspicious funds that were transferred or conducted banking operations or traded through Gulf banks amounted to about $11.2 billion, of which the share of UAE banks reached $10.2 billion.
The scandal raised many questions about the future of banks around the world, especially the Gulf involved, as it revealed the flaws of the systems and the absence of oversight, in light of great concerns about the impact of money laundering operations, which international newspapers described as “dirty”, on the reputation of the Gulf countries.
The documents revealed information about the involvement of more than 10 thousand people in 170 countries, and the list included at least 20 people who appeared on the list of “Forbes” billionaires, in addition to more than 400 companies based in the British Virginia Islands, and more than 300 in Hong Kong, which is well-known places.
The leaks also showed that Joe Lu, the fugitive financier and mastermind in the corruption case known in the media as the “Malaysian Fund”, transferred billions of dollars through transactions classified by US banks as suspicious between 2009 and 2016. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) said that 27 banks have been identified in transactions involving “Joe Lu”.
The leaks show that some of the largest banks worldwide have turned a blind eye to the criminals who transfer dirty money through their systems.
Observers consider that the numbers that were leaked and announced during the past two days are extremely worrying and raise many questions; Does the UAE provide a banking environment that allows for the laundering of dirty money?
And the extent of corruption is increasing in the UAE day by day, despite the statements of government officials calling for fighting and combating corruption. Still, the reality is that the UAE has become the largest incubator for corruption in the Gulf countries.
The Arab Gulf Center for Economic Research estimates that the bill for corruption and suspicious deals taking place across the UAE over the past five years is about $110 billion.
Dubai has been at the forefront of corruption operations in recent years. It provided a haven for fugitives and those pursuing corruption cases in their countries, as well as theft of public money.
Dubai provides a safe environment for corrupt people and money laundry from all over the world. They carry out money laundering operations by selling and buying real estate, establishing fake companies and making “dirty” deals.