UAE is under international supervision for its involvement in money laundering and terrorist financing
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) denounced the UAE system’s complicity in money laundering crimes, and said that Abu Dhabi “is not doing enough to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing” in the latest condemnation of the country’s black record in this regard.
The International Commission for Control of Illegal Funds announced that the UAE has been under surveillance for a period of one year, confirming that the severity of the spread
The international group said the UAE was raising concerns about its ability to combat terrorist financing. The report took 14 months to prepare and included a visit to the UAE last July.
The report gave a “low” rating for the investigations and prosecutions of money-laundering and a “medium” rating for the preventive measures and financial sanctions associated with combating the financing of terrorism.
If the UAE fails to make improvements, it may find itself alongside countries such as Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan that the international body considers to suffer from “strategic shortcomings”.
The group added that the authorities must fill gaps in the real estate and precious metals sectors that can be exploited by money laundering professionals. She stated that she must also promote the use of financial information in money laundering cases and in recovering crime proceeds.
The group also urged the UAE to actively pursue international money laundering networks and to promote formal cross-border cooperation.
The report also said that there is a “notable absence” of appropriate investigations and prosecutions in money laundering cases related to high-risk crimes and high-risk sectors such as money transfers, which highlights the regime’s complicity in this.
Fatf added that between 2013 and 2019, the UAE tried 92 people and convicted 75 of terrorist financing activities, while there were 50 trials and 33 convictions in money laundering cases between 2013 and 2018.
Of these, Dubai saw only 17 trials involving money laundering over a five-year period.
The Center for Advanced Defense Studies in the American capital, Washington, has revealed that the Emirate of Dubai is a center for money laundering personalities listed on the list of US and international sanctions.
The report, which was based on leaked data, said that about a hundred million dollars was used in suspicious purchases of apartments and villas in Dubai.
The report pointed out that the Syrian businessmen Rami Makhlouf and his brother, who are the cousins of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, own real estate and investments on the Palm Island in Dubai, in addition to their association with the free zone companies in the Emirates.
The center also revealed that Lebanese businessmen linked to the Lebanese Hezbollah Party own properties in Dubai with hundreds of millions of dollars.
The center’s study stated that suspicious money laundering operations are widely carried out in Dubai by purchasing real estate, especially as the emirate opened the real estate market in the year 2002 and it rushed to it with a lot of foreign money, which helped in a building boom in the emirate and many architectural wonders.
The center’s report stated that it identified the various individuals who were imposed on them by the US Treasury as it was compared to a database dating back to 2016 that was leaked from the Dubai real estate registry.