UAE strengthens strategic efforts to cut money laundering from economy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
UAE Dubai
Representational Image

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has set up strategic plans and initiatives as part of its key role to aid in the efforts to control money laundering in the country.

Recently the ministry had established a specialized anti-money laundering department in its efforts to implement the strategic plans and follow up its effectiveness and to regulate all non-financial businesses and professionals to ensure compliance with the rules.

Commenting on this initiative the undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Al Saleh stated that the authority has contributed all its efforts in supporting the country’s anti-money laundering measure and to improve the technical tasks up to the international standards and treaties in this field, thus to raise to the level of different global indicators.

Under the new plans, the ministry will supervise those professions in the non-financial industry which are more vulnerable to the risks of money laundering such as independent accountants and auditors, property brokers, companies service providers and dealers of precious metals and gemstones.

Al Saleh further added that “the ministry is keen on intensifying communication with this sector to educate it about the dangers of money laundering and to create awareness of laws passed in 2018 on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.”

For the past few years, the country has been on a mission to eliminate money laundering from its economy, for which it has made several alterations in its laws. In August, the Cabinet had passed a rule which requires both onshore and offshore companies to provide the report on the details of those ultimate beneficial owners of the business.

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri
Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri
UAE Minister of Economy

“Combating money laundering has always been among the priorities of the UAE government’s concerns and that the first federal law for anti-money laundering was issued in 2002. The country’s financial sector has been implementing these measures for many years, and the Ministry of Economy and its partners from the concerned authorities have been keeping pace with ongoing developments in international standards to combat money laundering.”

Last April, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog said that the UAE had become highly resilient to combat the financial crimes with its regulatory framework but it warned the country to make some immediate decisions to curb the criminal financial flows.

“In recent years, the UAE has significantly strengthened relevant laws and regulations and has put in place a range of committees to improve national coordination and cooperation. While the country needs to swiftly address several remaining issues, the elements of an effective framework to detect and prevent criminals and terrorists from misusing the financial system are mostly in place,” FATF stated in its Mutual Evaluation Report, last year.