The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman will enact anti-money laundering laws by the end of 2001 after cooperating on the details, the governors of their central banks said Saturday, September 8.
"It will definitely be issued by this year end," said the UAE's Sultan Bin Nasser Al-Suwaidi after a meeting of Arab Central Banks in the UAE capital. The legislation would focus on a definition of money-laundering, penalties, international cooperation and international legal issues, he said.
However Al-Suwaidi added: "It is not very easy to combat money laundering. You need to know the transferring party and the origin of the money. Often you can see only one link."
Oman's Hamud Sangur Al-Zadajali said Muscat would enforce the new law by the end of the year and that the two neighbors had cooperated during drafting. He denied money laundering was widespread in the Gulf.
Bahrain issued new legislation against money laundering in January, setting a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a fine of up to one million dinars ($2.6 million). Bankers say the oil-rich Gulf monarchies are particularly vulnerable to money laundering because they host large foreign communities, making the movement of capital hard to control. — (AFP, Abu Dhabi)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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