UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Watchdog tells Qatar to do more to combat financial crime.

As published on meed.com, Monday 27 February, 2023.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has said Qatar needs to do more to prevent financial crimes and money laundering.

“Qatar needs to make important improvements in certain areas, including in its law enforcement response to money laundering and terrorism financing in particular and its use of financial intelligence. Qatar should also improve the availability and access to beneficial ownership information by law enforcement and competent authorities and strengthen the implementation of targeted financial sanctions for proliferation financing,” the FAFT said in a statement on 24 February.

The FAFT also said that Qatar has made a range of improvements to its anti-money laundering (AML)/combating the finance of terrorism (CFT) regime in recent years. It plans to publish a report on Qatar by May after it completes its quality and consistency review.

In March 2022, the FAFT put the UAE under increased monitoring, which is known externally as its grey list.

“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 FATF said at the time.

Since then, the UAE made some high-profile arrests. In June last year, the Dubai Media Office confirmed that Dubai Police had arrested Atul and Rajesh Gupta, who are both wanted by the authorities in South Africa on criminal and money laundering charges.

The Gupta arrests came four days after the detention on 3 June of Sanjay Shah, a suspect in a DKK12bn ($1.7bn) dividend-tax fraud case in Denmark.