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UAE rigorously implements anti-terror and anti-money laundering measures

posted on 23/09/2003: 1540 views


The UAE Central Bank released for the first time yesterday, detailed information on the number of cases investigated and prosecuted following introduction and stringent enforcement of tough legislation to counter money laundering and terrorist financing. "Our laws meet everything demanded by the Financial Action task Force and we have been extremely thorough in the way we have enforced this legislation and cooperated with other countries," said Abdulrahim Mohammed\Al Awadi, assistant executive director and in charge of anti-money laundering\and suspicious cases unit (AMLSCU), in a statement issued at the venue of the ongoing WB-IMF meetings here.



Announcing details about the reporting and prosecution of suspicious transactions between Aug 2001 and May 2003, the AMLSCU said it had analysed 429 suspicious transaction reports which it had received\from banks and other financial institutions. Of these, nine cases have been fully prosecuted for money laundering and seizure of assets and are in the process of judgement, some 12 cases are being prosecuted and in 25 more cases, freezing orders have been issued and reports made to the public prosecutor for legal action.



Regarding number of cases in which the UAE had offered or received cooperation from FIUs of other countries in the same period, the AMLSCU said that 58 cases have been referred by the UAE for assistance, with the information received resulting in the freezing of 13 accounts. However, most requests for help had not yet received a response. Around 164 cases had been referred to the UAE AMLSCU for assistance by other relevant authorities of other countries. Information was supplied in all cases and as a result of this cooperation, 23 accounts were investigated and frozen. Al Wadi said that there would be no let up in the UAE's determination to ensure that anyone attempting to launder money through the UAE is rapidly detained.



The UAE has also implemented the anti-terrorism financing regulations passed by the UN Security Council. These include resolutions 1373, 1390, 1267, 1333 and other related resolutions. Following requests received to investigate under these resolutions, the Central Bank and the AMLSCU issued search and freeze orders to banks, moneychangers and other financial institutions operating in the UAE.



These investigations have resulted in the freezing of 18 accounts totalling more than US$3 million. In some 18 cases, the UAE has responded to requests from other countries by providing all the information that is required. Al Awadi said that the UAE AMLSCU had conducted 58 workshop sessions on money laundering and terrorism finance for banks and other financial institutions. The official added that the UAE is now in the process of negotiating MOUs with all states for sharing information, as absence of such agreements had led to failure in responding to requests for help in some cases. Many states including the US and the UK require an MOU before sharing information, he said. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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