The Intelligenceonline website revealed that gold trading on the Dubai Stock Exchange in the United Arab Emirates is still a popular method of money laundering.
In an investigation translated by the European Microscope for Middle East Issues, the website stated that the weaknesses identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding imposing sanctions on the UAE due to money laundering and terrorist financing still exist.
In this regard, the website highlighted the government’s shortcomings regarding the possibility of tracing gold trading on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, a global hub in this sector.
According to the website, the Emirati National Security Adviser, Tahnoun bin Zayed, the half-brother of the country’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed, is working to develop the financial sector in Abu Dhabi to transform the country’s capital into a global financial centre to compete with Dubai, which is a pioneer in this field.
Tahnoun received instructions from his brother, the Emirati president, to work on controlling financial movements in Abu Dhabi to remove the UAE from the grey list for money laundering established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is the list that hinders Abu Dhabi’s transformation in particular. In particular, it is a financial centre that attracts global investments.
The website indicated that Tahnoun bin Zayed is leading the steps to liberate Abu Dhabi from this list with his broad economic and national security powers. He heads the Abu Dhabi Sovereign Authority ADQ.
Tahnoon bin Zayed combines these powers to develop a long-term strategy to make Abu Dhabi a global financial centre by trying to make progress in the field of financial transparency, which has been severely affected in the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular.
In this context, the site sheds light on the decision of the Executive Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) at the end of last August to fine the Wise money transfer company, which the Estonian businessmen established “Christo Karman” and “Tavit Henricus” in London, with 360,000 dollars for failing to respect the obligations of combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Abu Dhabi Global Market almost periodically imposes fines on several companies due to suspicions of fraud and unauthorized financial operations.
Following the example of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), other UAE financial centres have introduced financial transparency rules to align them with global compliance standards.
The site indicates that Mohammed bin Zayed insists on transforming Abu Dhabi into a global financial centre, an international tourist destination and a logistical centre to compete with Dubai. For this, he entrusted the task to Tahnoun. Although the latter is responsible for the country’s sovereign defence strategy, he is also a substantial financial strategist through his company.
The website said that Tahnoon bin Zayed planned a unique strategy, according to his powers and experiences, to determine the financial policy of Abu Dhabi, as he is a national security advisor, supervising the initial public offerings (IPO) for several public sector companies.
In February 2022, Abu Dhabi Ports raised $1.1 billion from an IPO, and next on the list could be health giant Pure Health, the country’s leading Covid-19 test production company owned by the IHC.
In June 2022, the Borouge petrochemical company, owned by the UAE national oil company ADNOC and the Austrian Borealis company, raised two billion dollars when it was listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange. In addition, through the Royal Group, one of the holding companies owned by IHC, Tahnoun bin Zayed launched Chimera Investment, a private equity investment company.