Campaigners and politicians are calling for the United Arab Emirates to be blacklisted over its failures to combat the flow of "dirty money" and to enforce sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs, media reports said.
The Gulf state has emerged as a key refuge for the Russian super-rich fleeing the impact of global sanctions, with private jets and superyachts linked to oligarchs heading to the UAE after the invasion of Ukraine, The Guardian reported.
Bill Browder, the financier and critic of Vladimir Putin's regime, said: "Dubai has long been a safe place for dirty money. It should now be put on financial blacklists and its leaders shouldn't be welcome here."
He said secondary sanctions should be imposed on the UAE unless it provided assistance to countries pursuing the oligarchs' assets, The Guardian reported.
It emerged last week that, for more than three months, one of the world's most expensive private jets, belonging to the former Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich, has been grounded in Dubai. The US Department of Justice cited the last recorded flight of the $350m Boeing 787 Dreamliner - from Moscow to Dubai on 4 March - in legal documents applying for its seizure.
Agents were also authorised by a judge to seize a second aircraft belonging to Abramovich - a Gulfstream G650ER - in Moscow, despite no prospect of it being immediately impounded.
FBI investigators have found, like many others pursuing the assets of oligarchs, that the trail frequently leads to the UAE. There has also been a surge in Russians buying properties there. The UAE was put on a "grey list" by global watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in March because of deficiencies in its measures to combat money laundering and other financial crimes, and there are now calls for the country to be included on similar international lists, The Guardian reported.
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