Transparency International says the Emirati city of Dubai has turned into “a money laundering paradise,” where criminals can easily purchase luxurious property with their dirty cash.
In its Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 released recently, the leading anti-graft NGO said Dubai “has become an active global hub for money laundering.”
Citing investigations by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), the group complained that real estate worth millions of pounds can be bought in Dubai in exchange for cash with few questions ever asked.
“As a result, Dubai has become a money laundering paradise, where the corrupt and other criminals can go to buy luxurious property with no restrictions,” it added.
Last June, Transparency International issued a similar warning, saying Dubai has become an open market for money laundering and a safe haven for the corrupt.
It blamed the situation on the UAE’s weakly regulated financial sector, unaccountable high-end real estate market and lack of oversight on Dubai’s property sector.
“Dubai has been attracting secretive high-end real estate purchases by foreign companies and individuals for years, but despite the high risks of money laundering, the government of the UAE fails to ensure that information about companies buying property is sufficiently recorded and made available, and that estate agents ensure they are acquiring all the necessary information about who is behind the deal,” said Transparency International Managing Director Patricia Moreira.