UAE approved for compliance inspection, money laundering task force says

Watchdog said the Emirates had made substantial progress in areas such as increasing prosecutions

The FATF announced on Friday that the UAE was approved for a compliance inspection before February 2024. Ryan Carter / The National
Powered by automated translation

The UAE has been approved for inspection after it had “substantially” introduced compliance measures to combat money laundering.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) made the announcement on Friday during a meeting in Paris, where it was announced that a visit to the UAE would be made before February next year.

The watchdog said the UAE had made progress in areas such as assisting money-laundering investigations, imposing sanctions for non-compliance at financial institutions and increasing prosecutions.

The measures are needed to remove the UAE from the FAFT list of countries under enhanced monitoring.

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, said he welcomed the on-site visit to verify the completion of the UAE's International Co-operation Review Group Action Plan.

“The UAE looks forward to welcoming the FATF assessment team, and further demonstrating the enhanced and sustained effectiveness of our anti money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism framework,” he said in a statement.

“Co-operation with strategic international partners is critical to contributing to the global effort to detect and disrupt all forms of financial crime.”

A successful inspection could provide a signal that the UAE, along with jurisdictions such as Barbados, Gibraltar and Uganda, could be removed from the watchdog's grey list at the session in February.

The UAE was placed on the grey list last year.

“The UAE takes its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system extremely seriously,” said Khaled Mohammed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and Chairman of the UAE National Anti Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations Committee said.

“The increased resources and expertise we have put in place underpin the UAE's continued commitment to combating economic crime and disrupting illicit networks, both at home and abroad.”

Last month, the UAE seized and confiscated assets worth more than Dh1.3 billion ($354 million) from March to mid-July 2023, as it stepped up its fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The Emirates also issued fines totalling Dh199 million in the first half to combat money laundering, which exceeded the total amount of 2022 (Dh76.2 million), 2020 (Dh8.4 million) and 2019 (Dh800,000) combined.

Updated: October 28, 2023, 7:10 AM