CENTRAL BANK OF THE UAE CONSIDERS NEW ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LAW   

The board of the UAE's Central Bank held its 8th meeting for the year 2013 in Abu Dhabi and discussed a number of initiatives in banking sector regulation. As part of these discussions the board also considered ammending financial services law as well as the creation of a new law regarding criminalisation of money laundering.   

DUBAI PRIME MINISTER SETS UP SPECIAL JUDICIAL COMMITTEE TO SETTLE THE AL BOOM FRAUD CASE   

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued a decree to create a new special judicial committee to settle the debts of Abed Al Boom. Al Boom, an Emirati businessman, was convicted in 2011 of embezzling AED 960 million (USD 261.4 million) from 3,706 investors. Originally sentenced to 923 years and 9 months in prison, his jail term was suspended in 2012 after an order to calculate his assets was issued.    

BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION REDUCTION IN UAE

Statistics have recently been released which show that for the year 2012, only 47 cases of bribery were registered in the federal courts of the UAE.  This follows on from news that the UAE has moved up one place to 26th in the Corruption Perception Index compiled by the civil society watchdog Transparency International. The index maps the perceived likelihood of bribery and the accountability of public officials across 177 countries and  ranges from zero (most corrupt) to 100 (least corrupt). The UAE was the best placed Arab nation in the survey, followed by Qatar which ranked 28th.   

OMANI GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL IMPRISONED FOR CORRUPTION 

Juma Al Hinai, the Director General of Income for the Ministry of Finance in Oman, has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment following his conviction on corruption charges. Al Hinai was one of more than 20 government officials and private executives from Oman's oil industry on trial for offering or accepting bribes in exchange for contracts. The Muscat Court of First Instance also sentenced two senior executives of Galfar Engineering, Mohammad Ali and Abdul Majeed Nushad, to two years' in prison.

Press commentators note that the manner in which the corruption case has been handled has shattered the perception among some top level government officials that they are immune from prosecution.