Abu Dhabi: Financial institutions in the UAE were told on Thursday to hunt for any possible assets in the country belonging to internationally known insurgents.

If found, the assets are to be frozen following approval by a special anti-money laundering unit within the UAE Central Bank.

Investigators with the UAE Central Bank issued a blacklist yesterday of suspected persons wanted by international authorities to banks, money-changers and investment and finance companies.

The list is part of what was identified by the Central Bank as circular 234/2013 asking recipients to help enforce the United Nations Security Council’s efforts to cut off money supplies for wanted criminals from Somalia and Eritrea.

“You are requested to immediately search for and freeze any accounts or deposits or investments and inform us of any credit facilities or safe deposit boxes in the names of natural persons mentioned in the following list,” stated the Central Bank in its circular.

The Bank also asked the banking and financial sectors in the UAE to regularly update their records with a view to freezing or cancelling assets after obtaining approval from the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit of the Central Bank.

The Central Bank list includes Al Shabab or Hizbul Shabab or Hizbul Islam or Harakat Shabab Al Mujaheedin, which is alleged to have engaged in acts threatened the fragile peace, security and stability of Somalia.

Insurgent groups such as Al Shabab are alleged to be extorting money from private companies and recruiting young people to join the fight against the newly-installed government in Mogadishu, said the Central Bank.

“Al Shabab has confirmed the presence of foreign fighters within its ranks and has stated openly that it is working with Al Qaida in Mogadishu to remove the government of Somalia. The foreign fighters, many of whom reportedly originate from Pakistan and Afghanistan, appear to be well trained and battle-tested,” said the Central Bank.

The list also includes Yassin Ali Baynah, a Swedish national, who has reportedly mobilised support and raised funds.

Another person listed is Hassan Dhaher Awayes, a Somalian, who is alleged to have led armed opposition groups against a UN arms embargo.

Hassan Abdullah Al Hersi Al Turki is on the top list of banned individuals as he is charged with being a senior leader for militias in Somalia and Eritrea.

Ahmad Abd Aw Mohammad, said to be a senior leader of Al Shabab, is also listed.

Fuad Mohammad Khalaf is also charged with mustering financial support for Al Shabab through fundraising events at mosques in Kismaayo, Somalia.

Another person to make the list is Bashir Mohammad Mahmoud for his role of commanding military exercises in Al Shabab.

Mohammad Sa’id Atom on the list is said to have engaged in acts that threaten peace, security and stability in the Red Sea area and is accused of having supplied, sold or transferred to Somalia arms, training or assistance including financing and financial assistance related to military activities in violation of an arms embargo.

There are many more names on the list, including Fares Mohammad Manna, a Yemeni, who is wanted for arms trafficking and Hassan Mahat Omar from Somalia for recruiting members to fight and to threaten peace and stability in the Red Sea.

Omar Hammami, an American citizen, is reportedly a senior member of Al Shabab.

Ali Ahmad Nur Jim’ale from Djibouti is wanted for his association with Somali Council of Islamic Courts.

Aboud Rogo Mohammad is blacklisted for his involvement with Al Shabab while Abu Baker Sharif Ahmad is listed as a recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in the Red Sea.