© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Excessive-rise towers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates June 18, 2019.REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Picture
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates central financial institution sees elevated dangers of illicit monetary flows rising from the COVID-19 pandemic, together with money-laundering and terrorism financing, it stated in a report printed on Sunday.
Using unlicensed cash service suppliers for cash laundering has elevated in the course of the coronavirus disaster final 12 months, the report stated, in addition to using e-commerce to launder cash.
“Widespread lockdowns have resulted in a big surge in e-commerce. As a consequence of restricted skill to maneuver funds and items in the course of the pandemic, illicit actors are turning to e-commerce as a cash laundering software”, it stated.
The variety of so-called “cash mules” – individuals who obtain illicit funds into their financial institution accounts to carry or withdraw and wire elsewhere, taking a fee for his or her providers – elevated, the financial institution stated, with accounts within the majority of circumstances belonging to low earnings people from Africa and Asia.
The financial institution recognized fraud dangers linked to the pandemic similar to corporations or people submitting false claims to qualify for presidency stimulus assist measures.
“As we proceed to observe and be taught extra in regards to the unfold of COVID-19 in our communities, we’ve got not too long ago noticed heightened exterior fraud risk, particularly with cyber criminals exploiting each conventional and digital channels, to remotely perpetrate cyber-enabled fraud assaults at scale in a quickly evolving atmosphere”, the financial institution additionally stated.
The report comes because the central financial institution steps up efforts to fight illicit monetary flows.
The Monetary Motion Activity Pressure, an intergovernmental anti-money laundering monitor, stated final 12 months that “basic and main enhancements” have been wanted to keep away from it inserting the UAE on its “gray checklist” of nations beneath elevated monitoring.
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