Money laundering rose during Covid-19 pandemic, says UAE Central Bank

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There has been an increase in the laundering of money, says the UAECB
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  • Report also cites fraud, bribery, corruption, charity and disaster fraud as risks to financial institution
  • The report also identified the methods of mitigation, identification and resolution implemented by selected financial institutions to address such risks

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has disclosed that there has been an increase in the laundering of money through unlicensed money service providers during the Covid pandemic.

In a report the Central Bank, published in cooperation with other UAE government and financial bodies, cited that money laundering, as well as terrorist financing, fraud, bribery and corruption, among others, are the risks faced by financial institutions during the health crisis .

The report also identified the methods of mitigation, identification and resolution implemented by selected financial institutions to address such risks.

“This report is part of our ongoing efforts to address money laundering and terrorist financing-specific trends and typologies emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic in the financial sector,” said Khaled Mohamed Balama, central bank governor.

“Although these risks are still in the early stages of identification, CBUAE, alongside the concerned supervisory authorities, have released this report as key reference on pandemic-related typologies and indicators to the financial institutions, so they remain abreast of and be able to mitigate these emerging risks, which ultimately contribute to safeguarding the integrity of the UAE financial system.”

In its report, the central bank said that the use of professional money laundering (PML) services is also likely going to increase during COVID, as criminals who have previously relied on self-executed money laundering schemes may now be seeking the help of PMLs.

 

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