ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) central bank has instructed local banks to stop dealing with 59 individuals and 12 entities with alleged links to Qatar and to freeze all their assets, the state news agency WAM reported on Friday.
This came after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain who have isolated Qatar by cutting all diplomatic and transport links with it this week put dozens of figures with links to the country on blacklists.
“In another circular, the Central Bank advised banks and other financial institutions operating in the UAE to apply immediately enhanced customer due diligence for any accounts they hold belonging to six Qatari banks: Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, Barwa Bank, Masraf al-Rayan, Qatar National Bank and Doha Bank,” WAM said.
UAE warns citizens of punishment over sympathy with Qatar on social media
UAE General Prosecutor Hamad Saif Al-Shamsi has warned its citizens that expressing any sympathy with Qatar on social media would be considered as punishable offence by the law.
According to a local news channel, bringing about sentiments in Qatar’s support on social media is a cyber-crime and could land offenders from three up to 15 years in prison or fine them at least 500,000 Dirham ($136,000) for committing the offense.
The prosecutor said that the decision was made in response to Qatar’s aggressive and irresponsible policies in the region.
Mauritania on Tuesday became the eighth country which had cut ties with Qatar after Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Maldives and Mauritius.
These countries accuse Qatar of undermining the region’s national security by giving support and safe havens to terrorist and militant groups including those backed by Iran.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that perhaps isolating Qatar is the “beginning of end of terrorism.”