موقع إخباري يهتم بفضائح و انتهاكات دولة الامارات

EU Decision: UAE Retained on Money Laundering List

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A European parliamentary vote has reaffirmed the UAE’s position on the European watch list for money laundering and terrorism support, delivering a fresh setback to Abu Dhabi’s attempts to enhance its reputation.

According to the European Parliament’s decision, both the UAE and Gibraltar will continue to be listed on the European Union’s roster of countries under scrutiny by the Financial Action Task Force, commonly known as the “grey list.”

The ruling posed a challenge for European member nations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), especially after the organization had removed the UAE from its list earlier in the year.

Months ago, European oversight officials specializing in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing reduced the UAE government’s announced steps regarding combating money laundering and called on Abu Dhabi to leave the media procedures box.

Authorities highlighted that following its inclusion on a list of countries subject to stringent oversight regarding money laundering, the UAE declared its plan to establish “dedicated prosecution units” to tackle this issue.

The UAE officials asserted that setting up specialized prosecution units marks the initial phase in addressing economic crimes and money laundering, aimed at bolstering investor confidence globally.

European officials affirmed that the UAE’s actions seem to be mere propaganda without substantive groundwork, such as delineating the authorities of anti-money laundering prosecutors and ensuring accountability for implicated senior officials.

European supervisory officials specialized in the field of anti-money laundering recommended keeping the UAE on the gray list for money laundering and opposing any improvement in the UAE’s status by maintaining sanctions on it.

In March 2022, the Paris-headquartered Financial Action Task Force added the UAE to its grey list due to significant shortcomings in the country’s efforts to combat sanctions evasion, terrorist financing, and related offenses.

This rating, which put Abu Dhabi just one step away from the dreaded FATF “blacklist”, was a major blow to the reputation of the largest financial center in the Middle East, and also threatened to weaken the country’s long-term credit rating, although that has not happened yet.

The long-term threat to the UAE’s position as a business hub is one of the reasons that prompted financial officials there to seek to get rid of this classification as soon as possible, and promised “strong measures.”

Some members of the Financial Action Task Force’s International Cooperation Review Group, composed of experts in banking and financial crimes, have recently raised concerns. They noted that the UAE had not delivered on its promises, with particular doubts surrounding the reliability of the information supplied by the UAE for their evaluations.

All continuing indicators confirm that the UAE still represents a haven for illicit transactions and money laundering crimes, amid government shortcomings in combating them.

A research study showed that the UAE ranks very advanced in the Arab world and globally in money laundering and terrorist financing crimes, which has repeatedly made it vulnerable to international sanctions.

The UAE ranked second in the Arab world and 44th globally in money laundering crimes, according to a study issued by the Al-Zaytouna Center for Studies and Consultations, entitled: “Money Laundering in the Global Political Economy.”

The study showed that the extent of money laundering in the global economy is not as marginal as some believe, as many sources estimate that the percentage of money being laundered will reach between 3 to 5% of the total global gross domestic product in 2022.

That is, approximately 3-5 trillion dollars, and this number exceeds the gross domestic product of all Arab countries.

The study revealed numerous specialized investigations documenting shortcomings in the performance of the International Financial Action Authority, the global regulatory entity tasked with combating money laundering, encompassing 187 countries in total.

The study identified four main channels for money laundering: financial institutions, online commerce, electronic media represented by smart cards, electronic money transfers or cryptocurrencies, and in-kind asset channels.