Finance

UAE is placed on money laundering watchdog’s ‘gray list’

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on July 5, 2021.
Christopher Pike | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An intergovernmental organization dedicated to combating money laundering and illicit cash flows on Friday placed the United Arab Emirates on its “gray list” over concerns that the Gulf country isn’t sufficiently stemming illegal financial activities.

The UAE was one of several countries listed by The Financial Action Task Force as being under increased monitoring due to “strategic deficiencies” in their efforts to counter money-laundering.

“Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing,” the organization said.

“When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies,” it continued.

The state-run Emirates News Agency, in a statement published late Friday, said the FATF “has recognised that the United Arab Emirates has made positive progress in its anti-money laundering (AML), countering the financing of terrorism (CFT), and counter proliferation financing (CPF) efforts.”

The watchdog group’s “gray list” is not as severe as its “black list,” which includes North Korea and Iran.

Other countries on the gray list include Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan and Yemen.

The UAE is the financial hub of the Middle East, home to numerous international companies’ headquarters, one of the world’s busiest airports, and a roughly 90% expat population.

“The UAE takes its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system extremely seriously and will work closely with the FATF to quickly remedy the areas of improvement identified,” said the UAE’s agency in charge of combating money laundering, according to Emirates News Agency.

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