UK-UAE sign pact to tackle illicit finance

Prasun Sonwalkar/Dubai
Filed on September 17, 2021
UAE Minister of State Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh.

The agreement aims to ensure that the UAE and UK are able to work more closely together to tackle the shared global challenges.

A new agreement to ramp up the targeting of those financing terrorism, serious and organised crime gangs was signed on Friday by the UK’s home secretary Priti Patel and UAE Minister of State Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh.

Described by officials as a first of its kind, the UK-UAE Partnership To Tackle Illicit Financial Flows is part of the new, ambitious and strengthened Partnership for the Future between the two countries announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The agreement aims to ensure that the UAE and UK are able to work more closely together to tackle the shared global challenges that we face, and promote prosperity and security for our citizens.

Patel said: “I will always take the strongest possible action to keep the British people safe, and this new agreement bolsters both our countries’ efforts in going after the terrorists and serious and organised crime gangs that seek to do us harm. The partnership will help to keep the public safe, protect our prosperity and bring dangerous criminals to justice."

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh said: “The UAE stands with the UK in the global fight against illicit finance. We are committed to stamping out terrorist financing and serious and organised crime in all of its forms to protect the UAE and uphold the integrity of the international financial system.”

He added: “The partnership marks a key milestone in the close cooperation between the UAE and UK. Through the robust, collaborative structure of the partnership, the UAE is determined to advance our shared priorities and reinforce our efforts to keep our two nations safe, prosperous and secure.”

The partnership, the officials said, offers a robust platform to build a stronger and more enduring strategic partnership, advancing the priorities laid out in the UK’s Integrated Review and the UAE’s National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Strategy. It will bolster law enforcement by enhancing intelligence sharing and joint operations between the UK and UAE against serious and organised crime networks. The two countries’ understanding of terrorist financing internationally will also be improved by sharing insight and expertise.

The officials added that the partnership will raise professional standards on countering money laundering with a particular focus on high-risk sectors such as dealers of precious metals and stones, and real-estate as well as emerging technologies such as crypto currencies.

There will be an annual meeting between the Home Secretary and the UAE Minister of State to ensure progress on the partnership’s ambitious objectives. —

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