The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently taken a decisive action against suspected money laundering activities, resulting in the suspension of Emirates Gold DMCC, a major gold refinery in the country. This move showcases the UAE’s commitment to addressing international pressures and strengthening its financial integrity in the fight against money laundering.


On July 7, Emirates Gold DMCC was suspended from the UAE’s Good Delivery List, following concerns raised by the Bullion Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Economy. The committee expressed worries regarding the ownership of Emirates Gold and its possible connections to alleged money launderers. This development has significant implications for the UAE’s efforts to combat illicit financial activities.

Money Laundering Allegations:

According to insider sources cited by Bloomberg, two ultimate beneficial owners of Emirates Gold have familial links to Zimbabwean businessmen Simon Rudland and Howard Baker. A documentary released by Al Jazeera earlier this year implicated these businessmen in money laundering activities within the UAE’s gold sector. While the documentary did not directly implicate Emirates Gold, the allegations triggered a closer examination of the refinery’s ownership structure.

UAE’s Commitment to Tackling Money Laundering:

The suspension of Emirates Gold DMCC’s license underscores the UAE’s unwavering commitment to combatting money laundering and enhancing its financial practices. In January of this year, the UAE Central Bank issued new guidelines on money laundering and terrorist financing, demonstrating proactive steps taken by the country to address these issues. Moreover, the UAE recently achieved observer status in the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, further highlighting its dedication to international collaboration in fighting financial crimes.

International Pressure and the “Grey List”:

The UAE’s inclusion in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list” in early 2022, which signifies a relatively higher degree of money laundering practices, has urged the country to take swift action to strengthen its financial integrity. UAE Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri acknowledged the remaining concerns raised by the FATF and emphasized the need for time to showcase the effectiveness and enforcement of policies against financial crimes.

The UAE’s suspension of Emirates Gold DMCC’s license is a significant step in its ongoing efforts to address money laundering concerns and fortify its financial system. By taking decisive action against suspected money laundering ties, the UAE showcases its commitment to international standards and financial integrity. This aligns with the UAE’s recent initiatives, such as issuing new guidelines and engaging with international bodies combatting financial crimes. Despite the challenges ahead, the UAE’s dedication to addressing concerns and implementing effective measures positions it as a trusted and transparent global financial hub in the fight against money laundering.