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UAE, Gibraltar, and Panama still on EU financial crime naughty step


The EU has said.

  • Recent evidence suggests that the UAE, Gibraltar and Panama lack efforts in addressing, or even facilitate the evasion of, sanctions imposed on Russia, including targeted financial sanctions on individuals, as a response to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
  • Whereas those countries may act as platforms for circumvention of sanctions for Union entities, directly or indirectly, thus undermining the Union’s efforts in stopping the Russian war machine.

On the UAE

  • The UAE has made a significant stride in its fight against money laundering, earning commendation from the FATF. This recognition has led to the country's removal from the FATF grey list, a noteworthy achievement in February 2024. The FATF’s decision to delist the UAE has sparked controversy.
  • While the UAE government has made strides in the right direction over the past two years, questions remain. Are these steps enough, and is the country truly prepared to tackle its significant money laundering issue?
  • The European Parliament does not think so and has taken a firm stance on the UAE's status. It has blocked a proposal to remove the UAE from the EU’s anti-money laundering (AML) high-risk third country list, a move that is designed to protect Europe from the risks associated with illicit financial flows and sanctions evasion.

Roland Papp, Senior Policy Officer for Illicit Financial Flows at TI EU, said:

  • “The European Parliament has rightly recognised that it is far too early to delist the United Arab Emirates as a high-risk third country.
  • The Commission should be pressuring countries to tighten their rules, not encouraging complacency in the fight against financial crime.”



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