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Sun 28 Sep 2008 11:44 AM

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Anti-money laundering laws need reform

Federal Customs Authority admits more needs to be done standardise laws in UAE.

More needs to be done to standardise anti-money laundering laws in the UAE, the head of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) has acknowledged.

“What we’re doing is trying to build the capacity within each customs administration to do their job as best as possible,” said FCA Director General Mohammed Al Mehairi, UAE daily The National reported on Sunday.

“It’s not feasible for every emirate to be on the same level as Dubai, but we need to make some minimum requirements.”

Last week, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report urged the UAE to improve its anti-money-laundering laws and to increase the powers of enforcement agencies who investigate suspicious transactions.

The IMF said improvements had been made since its first report in 2004, but noted that the quality of customs varied considerably between the different emirates.

Rules on importing and exporting cash need to be brought in line with rules on negotiable instruments such as personal cheques, it said.