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The Brussels Threatens Emirates with Sanctions for Illicit Financial Flow

Think tank has ranked emirates to be the top destination for illicit financial activities. Brussels has laid out warnings to place the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the “blacklist” if actions against money laundering and terror financing are not taken properly. 

Carnegie Endowment of International Peace also highlighted Dubai’s role in lending a hand in corruption and illicit financial flow across the globe.

The European Commission met to discuss the global financial crimes and it has agreed upon placing the United Arab Emirates on the European Union’s list of anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing if strong measures are not taken to fight these financial crimes. The European Union has given Emirates a deadline of June 2021 to improve its AML/CFT policies and implementation. 

UAE is already on the probation period placed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for many shortcomings. The issue of UAE’s financial crime shortcoming was brought forward by Italy’s MEP, Fulvio Martusciello, who read Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report that placed Dubai a place for European money launderers to operate. This was highlighted in the European Commission meeting which influenced their decision.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report states that While the vast majority of financial, business, and real estate transactions in Dubai are not associated with illegal activity, part of what underpins Dubai’s prosperity is a steady stream of illicit proceeds borne from corruption and crime. Corrupt and criminal actors from around the world operate through or from Dubai. Afghan warlords, Russian mobsters, Nigerian kleptocrats, European money launderers, Iranian sanctions-busters, and East African gold smugglers, all find Dubai a conducive place to operate.”

The report’s authors came to the saddening conclusion that along with Dubai, Europe’s major trading partner, UAE has become a favourite place for Europe’s money launderers.