Pirate money 'not laundered in Dubai'
Dubai, April 25, 2009
Dubai has denied a UK newspaper report which stated that Somalian pirates had laundered their ransom money through the banks in the emirate.
British newspaper The Independent had quoted investigators hired by the shipping industry as saying that organised piracy syndicates operating in Dubai and other Gulf states had laundered large amounts of ransom money.
Even some Somali pirates in the past had said that they received help from people in Dubai, the report had said.
Dubai deputy police chief Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, in reaction to The Independent report, said Dubai had strict laws to prevent money laundering, including a statute that subjects any sum more than $11,000 to surveillance to determine whether it is illicit.
'The UAE is the only country in the region that has a record of prosecuting money laundering,' Major General Khamis was quoted as saying in the Al Emirate Al Youm newspaper.
'Money for Somali and Gulf of Aden pirates has not been laundered in Dubai,' he reiterated.
Last year pirates hijacked and attacked dozens of ships in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden and took an estimated $80 million in ransom.
A 2004 US probe found that most of the $400,000 spent on the September 11 attacks against the US passed through bank accounts in the UAE.