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UAE money laundering law selected by UN as a model

posted on 06/03/2004: 1397 views


The UAE's anti-money laundering law has been selected by the United Nations as a model which should be adopted by other states to contribute to global efforts aimed at putting an end to the world's most alarming "white-collar" crime. According to Michael A. DeFeo, Consultant, Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, legislative actions of the UAE are considered highly important to the Vienna-based international organisation dealing with drugs, crimes and terrorism.



Speaking at a two-day workshop on terrorism organised by the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf, in collaboration with UNODC, DeFeo said in a presentation that the UAE had constituted the main part of the US Department of State report at the meeting of Counter Terrorism Action group of G-8, the organisation of the eight largest economies of the world, on February 13. The workshop was organised on March 2,3, at the Armed Forces Club in Abu Dhabi.



"The US report was extremely complimentary. It described how the UAE's law had clear definitions, criminalised deposit as well as conversion or transfer of funds to disguise their illegal origin," "Khaleej Times” quoted DeFeo to have noted. He said the UAE was described as a leader in addressing the Hawala money transmitting system, adding that the UAE, according to G-8 representatives, should be a model for other countries.



The official pointed out that as a first step the law should be a model for other countries. The delegation from Afghanistan was encouraged at an IMF workshop on drafting anti-money laundering law to apply the same legislation. "It is a law from a country that observes principles of Islamic law. The law has qualities that UN model or European legislation cannot have," remarked the UN official. He expects a better relationship that will help national interests of the country and in the same time help bring other countries of the region to standard of excellence of UAE.



Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, UAE Central Bank Governor, told newsmen on the sidelines of the workshop that the UAE spared no effort to fight money laundering and, in turn, contribute to international community's efforts to fight terrorism which he said was a global problem which has a substantial impact on the security of the international community due to its links to extremism and destruction, which, in turn, lead to the spread of poverty and underdevelopment.



He said the UAE had been following the international developments in combating terrorism and had, though its concerned authorities and institutions, cooperated with the international and regional authorities and institutions in this regard. "The UAE has executed all related Security Council Resolutions, on its part, the Central Bank has issued orders, requesting banks and other financial institutions, to search for and freeze any accounts, deposit or investments, which are in the names of terrorist leaders, terrorist organisations or persons who helped terrorists," Suwaidi noted. He added that the findings of banks were collected and reports were presented to the concerned authorities in the UAE. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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