387 persons arrested in 521 money-laundering cases, AED4 bn confiscated

387 persons arrested in 521 money-laundering cases, AED4 bn confiscated

ABU DHABI, 14th August, 2023 (WAM) -- In the past two years, the UAE's Ministry of Interior has effectively addressed 521 money laundering cases and collaborated with international law enforcement agencies to apprehend 387 individuals wanted globally.
These combined efforts have led to confiscations surpassing AED4 billion.

Lt. Gen. H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, underscored the UAE's steadfast advancement under the judicious guidance of its leaders. "The nation's trajectory is one of assurance and capability, solidifying its influential global standing. The vision and endorsement of the wise leadership have propelled the UAE to become a sanctuary of security and safety, radiating prosperity and well-being," he stated.

Sheikh Saif also acknowledged the vigorous actions undertaken by the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, led by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to oversee the national strategy against money laundering and terror financing. Additionally, the Executive Office's endeavours have been instrumental in executing the action plan and realising national accomplishments.

Sheikh Saif said, “Our unwavering commitment is to continually cultivate a secure environment for habitation, stability, employment, and investment. The UAE maintains its position at the forefront of global nations in international competitiveness. Milestones aligned with the nation's steadfast stance against crime and reinforcing societal safety are being achieved."

Sheikh Saif further accentuated the collaboration of relevant authorities in countering money laundering and financial offences domestically and globally. "These collaborations fortify economic development, foster international trade and investment, and safeguard the integrity of the global financial structure."

The minister elucidated that these achievements are not arbitrary; they stem from an integrated and cohesive system that monitors criminal activities. Such efforts unearth instances of money laundering and parallel financial investigations, encompassing 55 percent of total reports. 

These investigations divulge money origins, movements, and beneficiaries, unmasking criminal networks and fortifying the battle against various forms of crime. The Ministry of Interior's commitment to realising the UAE leaders’ visionary aspirations remains resolute.

Sheikh Saif further underscored the proactive stance of the Ministry against money laundering. Its strategies are grounded in comprehensive national and institutional risk assessments. The ministry regularly issues strategic risk assessments, identifying the challenges and changing conditions, anticipating and forecasting the danger points to build control plans with its strategic partners to reduce these crimes.

Lt. Gen. Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police and a member of the Higher Committee, emphasised the UAE's dedication, guided by Sheikh Saif, in combatting transnational organised crime. Collaborations with global police agencies are being bolstered to confront this crime.

Al Marri emphasised, "Our actions are guided by collaborative coordination through the Higher Committee, along with all strategic partners and police leaders at the level of the Ministry of Interior, to combat this type of crime by developing capabilities and qualifying human cadres through specialised courses.

“This includes the international diploma in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing crimes, launched in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Around 116 personnel from all the entities concerned with combatting money laundering across the state took part. The Ministry of Interior has also adopted the latest advanced technological techniques in strengthening and developing investigation mechanisms and collecting information in tackling money laundering.”
He also underscored the ministry’s substantial strides and accomplishments in countering money laundering, aligned with the UAE's national strategy. The concerted efforts spanning November 2022 to February 2023 led to the exchange of 1,628 instances of intelligence information with international collaborators. 

These collaborations encompass various communication channels, including INTERPOL, Europol, the Gulf Police Authority, AMON International Network, and liaison officers. Furthermore, several Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with counterparts globally in law enforcement.

Al Marri drew attention to the innovative initiatives launched by concerned authorities within the country to combat money laundering. This encompasses the inauguration of the unified platform by the Ministry of Interior, designed to tackle money laundering in partnership with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Justice represented by the Public Prosecution Offices, the UAE Central Bank, the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, and the Federal Tax Authority play pivotal roles in supporting collaborative efforts. The shared objective is to strengthen security and combat crime, particularly money laundering and its associated offences.