Financial Crime: Hundreds of Cases Pursued in Crackdown
April 14, 2022
The Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance has confirmed that hundreds of cases are being actively pursued by prosecutors in the United Arab Emirates. Releasing details of recent prosecutions and the deportations of suspects, the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance said that it had confiscated more than AED 2 billion (about $544.5 million), which includes AED 1.1 billion in money laundering offences, in 2021.
Hamid Al Zaabi, the Director-General of the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance, said that they have a highly effective system of identifying and preventing terrorist activities as well as criminal operations. The Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance works closely with its international partners, contributing to the global fight against financial crime. About AED 300 million have been recovered from overseas crimes in the last year.
Hamid Al Zaabi added that terrorist financing and money laundering were not new to them, even as they make use of all available resources to investigate and punish criminals, as well as seize their ill-gotten wealth. The United Arab Emirates has strong policies in place to deter financial crimes, preventing the country from being used as a transit route or to transfer funds that are the proceeds of criminal activity. Apart from cash, gold and other precious metals are also used in financial crimes.
The Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance works with a range of Government agencies in the United Arab Emirates as well as abroad to tackle the menace of financial crime. In one instance, the authorities confiscated AED 175 million in cash and assets, acting on an Interpol red notice and working in close . In coordination with the Ministry of the Interior, the suspects were extradited to the United States, where they pleaded guilty to money laundering.
In another case, eight individuals were convicted by Dubai Courts for cyber fraud and money laundering, with fines of AED 14 million being imposed in addition to jail sentences and deportations. Hamid Al Zaabi is of the opinion that there needs to be more awareness of financial crime in the private sector, pointing out how the Central Bank of the UAE imposed fines of more than AED 17.3 million on establishments for violations of anti-money laundering laws.
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