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The director-general of UAE anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing commends Singapore’s police and investigation team for busting the largest money laundering case in history.
Hamid Al Zaabi, the director-general, stated that Singapore’s in-depth investigations and rigid regulations will encourage other countries to combat financial crimes. In August, the Singaporean police arrested 10 Chinese-born money launderers, 9 male and 1 female, included in the crime. The case has garnered international attention primarily because of its magnitude, including S$2.8 billion in assets and cash. This case also emphasises the country’s financial institutes to comply with AML measures to tighten the securities.
The Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) stated in the statement they are investigating banks to ensure that organisations take risk assessment steps to prevent scams. The director-general stated, “Singapore’s money laundering case is globally significant and is worthy of applause. I know some commentators have said that the size of the bust suggests weaknesses in the national anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing system, but this is completely wrong. Instead, it demonstrates two things: one, that money laundering operates on a massive scale globally, and two, Singapore will go after the bad guys, no matter how big or powerful they are.”
Mr. Al Zaabi is leading a group of Emirati officials to Singapore this month to enhance cooperation with Singaporean partners in combating financial crime. According to the director-general of UAE and Singapore, both are reputable financial hubs of the globe, and criminals such as organised money launderers are constantly looking for loopholes in the country’s economic system. He stated, “organised crime spreads like cancer and causes harm in many ways. Ultimately, money laundering poses serious risks to economic stability because it undermines competition, hampers growth, deepens inequality, and erodes confidence in the integrity of the global financial system.”
He also stressed international collaboration to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. It is an essential need for many countries to conclude across the regional jurisdictions. He added, “International cooperation will be hard only if you make it hard.” Al Zaabi stated, it’s a positive image of the Singapore government to invite our team to acknowledge the latest technology to comply with international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. He also emphasised that his staff looked into 183 latest money laundering cases between March and mid-July of this year, seizing assets connected to financial crime valued at over 1.3 billion dirhams. The director-general stated, “Singapore has an adequate AML system and also has the experience and good reports. It also has very strong public-private partnerships, so we want to learn from this and build a stronger working relationship with Singapore.”