UAE begins financing risks assessment to tackle funds for banned weapons

Assessment is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

By Reuters

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Published: Wed 26 Jan 2022, 5:30 PM

The UAE on Wednesday said it was assessing risks that funds for banned weapons could be funnelled through the regional commercial and trade hub, ahead of a FATF review in March.

The UAE and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global financial crime monitoring group, will hold meetings in Paris at the end of February before the watchdog in March updates its list of high-risk and other monitored jurisdictions.

Countries on the list risk reputational damage, trouble accessing global finance and increased transaction costs.

The UAE's Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing, established last February, said the financing risks assessment initiated in recent weeks would help the public and private sectors implement new requirements.

"The risk assessment will cover how financial resources may be used to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, including the means, technologies, and dual-use goods used in their delivery," said the statement on state news agency WAM.

"It will also emphasise the private sector's obligations under UAE law," it said.

The assessment is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The UAE passed an anti-money laundering and terrorism financing law in 2018 and has said further strengthening of its regulatory framework was a national priority.

The foreign ministry says since company registries - for both special economic zones and onshore zones - became subject to tighter regulation since 2020, registrars have issued warning notices and millions in fines, and suspended around several trading licences.

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