Jerusalem, 17 March, 2021 (TPS) — Israel’s Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority (IMPA) at the Ministry of Justice and the United Arab Emirates’ Financial Intelligence Unit signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday aimed at strengthening cooperation in the fight against money laundering.
The signing of the MOU will “promote the exchange of financial intelligence between the two authorities and strengthen cooperation between them and the countries to improve the joint struggle against money laundering and terrorist financing,” the IMPA stated after the signing.
The IMPA “considers cooperation between it and its corresponding authority in the UAE to be of “paramount importance.”
The establishment of relations between Israel and the UAE created “tremendous new economic opportunities,” but fearing that criminal and terrorist financiers may take advantage of the opportunities to launder capital from criminal activity or finance terrorism using the financial channels between countries, the two agencies will “work together to identify these risks, cooperate on the intelligence level and thwart money laundering and terrorist financing attempts.”
Through this cooperation, the authorities “will work to protect the financial systems of Israel and the UAE, their stability and reduce their exploitation for the purpose of financing terrorism and money laundering, which will help realize the financial potential inherent in the peace agreement between the two countries,” Israel stated.
The cooperation is expected to include professional assistance and mutual knowledge sharing.
Acting Israeli Minister of Justice Benny Gantz stated that the war on terrorism financing and money laundering “is important and essential for Israel’s strong economy and security. The cooperation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will enable us to maintain strong, stable and secure trade and economic ties.”
Dr. Waleed Alhosani, head of the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit, quoted Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE, who stated during the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE in September that “we came today to tell the world that this is our approach and that peace is the guiding principle.”
“From this point of view,” Alhosani added, “we have decided to strengthen relations and strengthen the principles of peace, stability and security” and “strengthen the frameworks for cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”