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A total of Dh115 million ($31.3 million) has been fined by the UAE in its efforts to impede money laundering and terrorist financing.
A UAE official reported that there had been 899 extraditions since 2020, including 43 money laundering cases. To combat money laundering and financial criminal activity, the UAE fined more than Dh115 million ($31.3 million) this year, ten of which were terrorists or financiers of terrorist activities.
“The Ministry of Justice puts the issue of strengthening international cooperation in the field of combating financial crime and organised crime at the forefront of its priorities,” said Judge Abdul Rahman Al Blooshi in a press release last week.
Alongside collaborating with local partners, he said the ministry has partnered with local and international partners — like the Foreign and Interior Ministries, local and federal prosecutors — aimed at combating organised crime, human trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, and terrorist funding.
A total of 37 international agreements have been signed regarding mutual legal assistance, along with 15 collective agreements concerning financial security and terrorist financing, which have “resulted in making the UAE a successful model and a guarantor of the compliance of companies in various sectors” aimed at preventing money laundering, terrorist funding, and other financial crime.
On Tuesday, officials of the Justice Ministry convened the first conference on fighting money laundering, fund embezzlement, and terrorism financing and to identify obstacles to judicial and legal cooperation. To address such crimes, the UAE has engaged the international organisation for a long time, according to Al Blooshi.
“For us to have 32 countries present at this conference is a testament and a reaffirmation of our commitment to stop money laundering,” he said. “The UAE is regularly coming up with policies and strategies to detect these crimes and to prevent the transfer of funds that result in or finance criminal activities,” He added to his statement, “These are serious crimes that the UAE has committed to fighting from the onset.”
From 2020 to 2021, the UAE has been requested 3,061 times to assist in extraditing criminals or prevent financial crimes such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and illegal funding. More than Dh115 million in fines were issued by the UAE alone in the first quarter of this year, a sharp increase from the Dh76 million fines issued last year.
Several recommendations were made during the three-day conference to ensure these activities remain controlled. With the objective of improving the process of executing legal and judicial requests, it became necessary for central authorities to establish direct communication channels. As part of the conference, bilateral treaties between countries were also highlighted as being essential for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as exchanging experiences among stakeholders.
UAE CONVENES SUMMIT ON CURBING MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING