UAE teams up with China to fight money laundering

Agencies in both countries will share intelligence to crack down on financial crime

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, July 31, 2012:  
UAE dirhams. (Silvia Razgova / The National)
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The UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit has joined forces with the China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Centre to exchange relevant intelligence to crack down on global money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism.

They will exchange information about financial transactions related to money laundering, terrorist financing and the persons or entities involved, in accordance with domestic and international laws, they said on Tuesday.

“We will continue our ongoing joint efforts to confront all suspicious activities both regionally and internationally and we will seek to reduce the threats these activities pose to the stability and integrity of the global financial system,” said Ali Ba’alawi, head of the UAE unit.

FIU was established in 1998 by the UAE Central Bank to investigate fraudulent and suspicious transactions.

The global anti-money laundering market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 15.6 per cent between 2021 and 2028, according to Grand View Research, an India and US-based market research and consulting company. It was valued at $1.03 billion last year.

The UAE has become China’s largest export market and its second-largest trade partner in the Arab world, said Gou Wenjun, director general of China's anti-money laundering centre. Co-operation between the countries has grown significantly in the past few years, he said.

“The MoU [memorandum of understanding] marks the establishment of co-operation mechanisms in anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing … [it] not only serves the mutual interests of both China and the UAE, but also demonstrates our responsibility to combat global financial crimes and terrorist activities with concrete actions,” Mr Wenjun said.

The UAE government has already enacted strict laws and established departments to deal with money laundering and fight financial crime.

In November, the Ministry of Economy set up an anti-money laundering department, while a court was also established in Abu Dhabi to tackle money laundering and tax evasion.

Updated: August 04, 2021, 5:19 AM