Dubai is particularly vulnerable to trade-based money laundering (TBML) according to an expert in financial crime.

Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, Tom Keatinge, says the emirate’s remittance services also a pose a risk.

Ghost companies

Keatinge says that trade offers ample opportunities to obscure the flow of money in Dubai.

He says fake companies are set up and appear to engage in trade when in reality all they are creating paperwork for the movement of non-existent goods to move money.

Preferred location

Keatinge says Dubai is a preferred location for TBML because “this intersection of trade and money is very powerful.”

“If you have a system that is vulnerable to abuse like this, then it’s not only open to abuse by criminals, but also for terrorist financing,” he says.