Wednesday, June 30, 2021

United Arab Emirates cracks down on money laundering, SXSW panel, and NAHJ 2021

 FASTER, PLEASE:  Researchers engineer cells to destroy malignant tumor cells but leave the rest alone.

One of the challenges of cracking down on financial crime is the global race to the bottom between havens trying to entice customers by offering more lucrative tax incentives or a higher degree of secrecy for companies.

When one jurisdiction institutes more transparency, other offshore destinations step in to fill the gap — a phenomenon that’s continually vexed local and international officials aiming to chase the secret money trails of tax dodgers and criminals.


One such destination is the United Arab Emirates, a growing hub for illegal money movements. Under pressure to do more to prevent money laundering, the country has responded by implementing rules around reporting ultimate beneficial owners.

Beneficial ownership databases have become an increasingly popular reform around the world in the aftermath of Panama Papers, which brought international attention to how corporate anonymity can enable a range of social ills. More recent ICIJ investigation such as FinCEN Files and Luanda Leaks, highlighted the Dubai’s rise as a go-to secrecy haven for those looking to hide illicit wealth.

Anisha Kohli, ICIJ’s new summer intern with the Emma Bowen Foundation, writes about questions and concerns onlookers have about the scope of the UAE’s new beneficial owner rules, and how effective the new law might be, along with Maggie Michael, our reporter in Cairo.

Did you miss our SXSW panel with New York financial regulator Linda Lacewell, Anthony Cormier of BuzzFeed News and Transparency International Portugal’s Karina Carvalho? Watch our talk on unraveling systemic flaws in the global financial system and what can be done to address these inequities.

Catch ICIJ reporter Brenda Medina at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ online international training conference, who is coordinating the investigative reporting track with sessions on investigative journalism on any beat (June 24), online tools (July 1), writing and packaging for impact (July 8), and more.

Thanks for reading!

Asraa Mustufa

ICIJ's digital editor

P.S. If you've enjoyed our coverage this week, remember to tell your friends and family and share our work on social media. Send them an email now!




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