Gulf responds to TBML threat

With its strategic trading position in the Middle East, it is little surprise the Gulf has been used as a thoroughfare for illicit funds according to an analysis of money laundering and terrorist financing in the region published by Arabian Business.

It also highlights that trade-based money laundering (TBML) is increasingly on the radars of banks, regulators and technology firms in their anti money laundering and counter financing of terrorism strategies.

PwC Report

The analysis by Sarah Townsend cites a recent report by PwC that concluded that financial crime in the Middle East is as difficult to tackle as ever while TBML was also highlighted as a hard to detect, growing money laundering threat.

Yet 20 percent of 150 UAE-based respondents to PwC’s survey said their business may be at risk to TBML but no measures had been taken to limit it.

Gold and jewellery

It is becoming less common to see cash-based money laundering schemes in the Gulf while TBML is more common, typically via under- or over-invoicing or falsely describing goods, according to Townsend.

She says that the Gulf’s strategic trading position between East and West makes it especially vulnerable, with goods such gold and jewellery likely to feature in TBML schemes.

A full version of the analysis by Sarah Townsend can be found here.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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