The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been highlighting the results of its efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.

The country has stated that it has intensified its attempts to combat such crime and has strengthened the penalties for those found to have committed them. The UAE has also voiced its strong support for the Financial Action Task Force, the intergovernmental organisation founded to tackle money laundering.

The UAE's emphasis on identifying and prosecuting money laundering came as it announced that it had imposed prison sentences and fines against 20 defendants and seven companies, confiscated more than 22.6 million Emirati Dirhams (£4.54 million) in cash and handed down fines of more than 60 million Emirati Dirhams (£12 million) for such offences.

The UAE has been eager to show foreign investors and international financial institutions that it is a secure environment for doing business.

Counsellor Ismail Madani, Senior Advocate General and Head of Public Funds Prosecution, stated that the UAE was looking to further integrate the relevant roles of government agencies and enhance cooperation among them. He added that the courts, police, UAE's Central Bank, customs and other bodies had been given "explicit authority'' to combat crimes of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The UAE has made it clear that it is strengthening its criminal sanctions for perpetrators of financial crime. With the UAE having recently created a specialist anti-money laundering court and devised new, improved guidelines on how to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, it is determined to be seen to be leading by example.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.