FATF may include the UAE in the Global Watchlist

Published:
January 13, 2022
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The note about this came from Bloomberg with a reference to anonymous sources. This fact implies that for non-residents, the terms of use of Emirati companies and banking institutions will become even more difficult to enforce.

If such a decision is nevertheless officially adopted, it will be one of the most significant measures taken by the FATF in the entire thirty-year period of the community’s existence. In particular, this is due to the exclusive position of the UAE as the main financial space for the entire Middle East.

FATF may include the UAE in the Global Watchlist: measures the Emirates took

Despite the information provided in the report, which was prepared in November last year, the country still receives many claims regarding the procedure for preventing the illegal turnover of funds. The decision to include the UAE in the “black” list will be finalized in February, so the Emirates have about a couple more weeks at their disposal to change the FATF’s opinion. For this, in the near future, a delegation from the UAE will be sent to Paris.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations has released several figures that demonstrate how much the country has been able to change its attitude towards anti-money laundering policies:

  • $ 625 million – roughly the amount the UAE confiscated in 2021 as part of measures taken to combat illegal cash flows and finance terrorist activities;
  • 90% – this is the number of extradition requests that were carried out by representatives of the Emirates authorities in the period from 2019 to 2021;
  • 7.3 thousand – the approximate number of supervisory associations created to control operations to prevent money laundering and investment in terrorist activities in 2021; for comparison – 2,812 divisions were created in 2019;
  • 94% – the rate of drafted convictions in cases of money laundering that were formed by the UAE during the period 2019-2021.

The UAE is fully committed to maintaining the integrity of the international financial system. This includes ensuring close cooperation with partners around the world in order to prevent financial crime.

According to the FATF, despite the tightening of the relevant measures of the UAE, the system of the emirates was nevertheless called into question because it is aimed at solving problems as soon as possible without deep analysis and comprehension. In fact, the Emirates needs far more fundamental and fundamental improvements to demonstrate its real commitment to discouraging money laundering and terrorist financing.

However, the UAE has taken quite a few steps to remedy the situation. In particular, courts have been created that deal exclusively with financial crimes. In addition, companies are now required to disclose all information about the ultimate owners and transfer it to government departments. As for the central bank, the institution has imposed fines on several other banks in recent months for failing to comply with anti-money laundering rules. In addition, new rules have been introduced for the functioning of charitable organizations, which are often reported to facilitate the circulation of funds related to terrorist operations.

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