Friday 02 December 2022 - 9:10:08 am

UAE enhances efforts to prevent criminals from hiding illicit activity, proceeds


ABU DHABI, 1st November, 2021 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates has stressed that protecting the integrity of the UAE financial system and actively pursuing those who abuse it for illicit means is of the highest importance. Therefore, the country is intensifying its efforts to strengthen its domestic defences against money laundering and terrorist financing whilst enabling effective enforcement.

Hamid Al Zaabi, Director-General of the UAE Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing, said, "The interconnectedness of international organised criminal networks, often accelerated by technological advancement, is becoming more and more sophisticated. We are fighting back through the power of intelligence, advanced analytics, technology, investigations and public-private partnerships. There is still much work to do, but we take encouragement from our progress so far. We have dedicated significant resources to accelerate our abilities in detecting, investigating, and understanding money laundering and terrorist financing as we advance financial crime compliance frameworks in the UAE and around the world."

Al Zaabi added the Public-Private Partnership Committee, chaired by the Executive Office, now includes members from 17 government agencies and 22 agencies from the private sector, noting that this dynamic coalition helps sharpen the focus on improving the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, including intelligence sharing and analysis, across the UAE and internationally.

He explained that more than 2,000 participants across all corners of the UAE economy – both offshore and onshore financial institutions, as well as members of designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) – joined recent seminars to encourage enhanced engagement between the public and private sectors to prevent financial crime.

Al Zaabi stated that the Ministry of Economy has run more than 11 AML/CFT compliance workshops – in English and Arabic – attended by almost 7,000 people, including representatives from higher-risk sectors such as precious metals and real estate.

Also, the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UAE-FIU) has signed more than 65 memoranda of understanding with international counterparts. This is a cornerstone of international cooperation and a commitment to action.

The UAE has introduced enhanced regulations requiring the registration of companies’ beneficial owners. As of mid-August, more than 93 percent of UAE-based entities had registered successfully in the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Database.

 

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Tariq alfaham/Amjad Saleh