UAE intensifies efforts to combat money laundering crimes, terrorism financing

Prison sentences and fines were issued against 20 defendants and seven legal companies



Photo: Dubai Media Office
Photo: Dubai Media Office
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 30 Oct 2021, 5:04 PM

UAE has intensified its efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing crimes, and strengthen deterrent penalties for perpetrators, a top official said on Saturday.

Counsellor Ismail Madani, senior advocate general and head of Public Funds Prosecution, confirmed prison sentences and fines were issued against 20 defendants and seven legal companies as part of such efforts.

“Total money confiscated exceeded Dh22.6 million, while fines surpass Dh60 million,” said Madani.

Furthermore, the UAE has extended its strong support towards global efforts to combat money laundering crimes in compliance with the standards of the International Financial Action Task Force, explained Madani.

Strong financial crime control system in place

Madani also said strong financial crime control system has been put in place in the UAE.

“Public Prosecution remains committed to support efforts to address these crimes by integrating the roles of competent government agencies and enhancing cooperation among them," he said.

Commenting on the processes followed, Madani explained Public Prosecution and its partners, such as courts, police agencies, Central Bank, Customs, Financial Information Unit and the Executive Office, have been given explicit authority to combat crimes of money laundering and terrorist financing.

“Other law enforcement agencies have also been authorised to receive reports about suspicious financial practices, issue decisions, track and seize funds and monitor bank accounts. The Criminal Court has been authorised to impose penalties, confiscations and fines related to funds obtained from these crimes,” he added.

The legal authority and powers given to these organisations are part of supportive measures aimed at helping them detect crimes and its perpetrators without prejudice to the legislation in force, the Dubai Media Office said.

Meanwhile, Faisal bin Sulaitin, the executive director of Dubai Economic Security Centre, said that the coordinated efforts of competent authorities to combat economic crimes and protect the funds of Dubai and the UAE from such crimes reflect the commitment to implement the directives of the leadership to combat money laundering and terrorism financing crimes.

“The efforts also demonstrate the commitment to detect and deter improper and criminal financial dealings within the territory of the state and use of the territory to facilitate the transit or transfer of funds resulting from any criminal activity,” said Sulaitin.

New legal frameworks

Sulaitin highlighted the continuous support of the UAE for global efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing crimes, in compliance with the standards of the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

UAE has taken important steps in the past years to develop a legal framework for achieving this and identify institutional paths for implementing procedures and measures for countering money laundering and financing of terrorism.

He said the establishment of the Dubai Economic Security Centre represents Dubai’s first line of defence to protect itself from economic crimes.

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This will help raise the confidence of global investors in Dubai's secure environment and encourage international financial institutions to make Dubai the centre of their business operations, he added.

The official called on all public and private institutions and members of society to participate in combating the risks resulting from actions harmful to economic security that investors or consumers may be exposed to or any funds and gains belonging to the emirate, through all the channels provided by competent authorities in the emirate, including the Dubai Economic Security Centre.


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