DUBAI—A global watchdog censured the United Arab Emirates for not doing enough in confronting money laundering and terrorism financing activities, adding it to a list of countries requiring increased monitoring, in a blow to the Middle East nation’s image as a safe business and investment hub.
The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernmental body that audits the ability of nations to detect and disrupt illicit finance, on Friday clubbed the U.A.E. with 22 other countries, including Pakistan, Syria and Nicaragua, in a so-called gray list of jurisdictions that are deemed deficient but working with the FATF to improve. Zimbabwe was removed from the list.
FATF said the U.A.E. has committed to combating sanctions evasion, increasing resources to use financial intelligence to pursue money laundering, demonstrating a sustained increase in investigations and prosecutions of such activities.
The U.A.E. has “made a high-level political commitment” to strengthen the effectiveness of its