The UAE is to establish federal prosecution offices dedicated to money laundering and other economic crimes.

The directive – which was proposed by the Attorney General – was approved by the Federal Judicial Council, chaired by Minister of Justice, Abdullah Al Nuaimi.

The dedicated bodies are being set up in an effort to boost the country’s “financial stability and economic growth,” state news agency Wam reported on Sunday.

The new offices are viewed as a “first step towards investigating and cracking down on economic crimes and money laundering”.

These will include corporate crimes, bankruptcy, regulation of competition, financial markets, intellectual property and trademarks and customs evasion offences.

“The UAE is intensifying its relentless efforts to combat economic crimes and money laundering, taking many crucial steps to strengthen the legislative and legal structure towards reaching this goal, and to protect the national economy, further enhancing the confidence of international investors in the UAE’s business environment and encouraging them to bring their businesses to the UAE,” Wam reported.

Tackling financial crimes

The Emirates has sought to counter the threat posed by economic crimes.

UAE authorities have extradited 899 criminals since 2020, of which 43 were involved in money-laundering crimes.

Ten of those were terrorists or were financing terrorist activities.

The UAE has issued fines of more than Dh115 million ($31.3 million) in the first quarter of the year in its fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“The Ministry of Justice puts the issue of strengthening international co-operation in the field of combating financial crime and organised crime at the forefront of its priorities,” Judge Abdul Rahman Al Blooshi said in a press release issued in May.

The UAE’s campaign against money laundering and financial crimes is “yielding fruitful results”, the Governor of the country’s Central Bank said this month.

Speaking at the opening of the Egmont Group Plenary in Abu Dhabi, Khaled Balama, who is also the chairman of the UAE National Anti Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations Committee, highlighted the country’s efforts to clamp down on financial crime.

The committee places “great importance on leveraging modern technology to facilitate the reporting of suspicious transactions, enable efficient communication, expedite procedures and make informed decisions regarding issuing fines”, Mr Balama said.