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Financial Crime Typologies in the Financial Sector

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1 January 2024

Financial Crime Typologies in the Financial Sector

Criminals exploit the financial sector to move illicit funds and conceal their origin through methods like shell entities and trade-based money laundering. The UAE faces money laundering and terrorist financing risks due to its expansive financial sector and large remittances. To mitigate these risks, FATF Recommendations advocate a risk-based approach, allowing authorities to assess and implement appropriate anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) measures. The report shares UAEFIU findings on money laundering typologies in the financial sector, focusing on predicate offenses, alternative banking services, underground banking, and trade-based money laundering. Additionally, it highlights high-risk sectors like lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents, emphasizing their connection to the financial sector.

Target Audience:
This report intended for financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the ADGM-Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), and the DIFC-Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). It presents findings previously shared by the UAEFIU with reporting entities from financial institutions, focusing on typologies directly relevant to the sector and highlighting major risk indicators.

This report presents major typologies and patterns of financial sector abuse in the UAE over four years, drawing from UAEFIU typology reports published from 2021 to 2023. Based on analysis of data from various sources including Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs), Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), cases disseminated to law enforcement authorities, and freeze requests, among others. Data from international requests and insights from supervisory and regulatory authorities were considered. Each typology report examined a sample of data covering one to three previous years, with a total of 6,729 suspicious reports and over 500 international requests analyzed during the timeframe.

Click here to view the full report.