The UAE has been removed from a financial crime watchdog’s list of countries.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said the UAE, along with Barbados, Gibraltar and Uganda, has shown “significant progress” in addressing “deficiencies” in its efforts to combat illicit money flows.

“These countries will no longer be subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process,” the watchdog said in a statement on Friday.

The watchdog made the announcement after holding three days of discussions on key money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing issues at its headquarters in Paris.

Grey list

In 2022, the watchdog placed the UAE on its so-called “grey list” over concerns it has not done enough to clamp down on illicit financial activities.

The UAE was among the jurisdictions placed under “increased monitoring” but were actively working with the FATF to strengthen their regimes.

“When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies,” the watchdog previously said.

The UAE has recently stepped up its drive to stem illicit financial transactions, with several business outlets being handed over closure orders or fines for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

The FATF said it has conducted on-site visits to the countries on its list, including the UAE, to assess their progress.

“The FATF plenary congratulated [the UAE and three other countries] for their significant progress in addressing the ... deficiencies previously identified during their mutual evaluations,” the statement said.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)