How UAE engages financial institutions to combat money laundering


Dubai - An effective system to combat money laundering and terrorist financing begins with an active and engaged partnership between the public and private sectors.

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By Wam

Published: Tue 15 Jun 2021, 9:35 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Jun 2021, 9:58 PM

Authorities in UAE have brought together key supervisory and regulatory bodies with financial institutions to discuss the importance of public-private engagement.

This is for the purpose of operating a sophisticated international financial crime compliance regime.

The objective of the UAE’s engagement with onshore and offshore financial institutions focuses on the monitoring, reporting and analysis of suspicious activity through the Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) regime, the corporate registries, and other information-sharing channels.

By forming closer ties between public and private entities, the UAE can ensure that data received from the private sector is accurate, complete and actionable to assist all agencies – from the supervisory authorities to the judiciary – in their collective fight against illicit finance.

"An effective system to combat money laundering and terrorist financing begins with an active and engaged partnership between the public and private sectors. Banks have made an unprecedented level of investment in both people and IT from an AML/CFT perspective. The UAE government has similarly invested significantly in its law enforcement agencies and financial intelligence unit. By working closely together we will be much more effective in safeguarding the integrity of the UAE and the international financial system. That is why we have convened these sessions. We want to promote public-private partnership. In doing so, we want everybody to know the important role that our business and financial community plays in protecting us from the threats of money laundering and terrorist financing", Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, said.

The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, established the Executive Office for AML/CFT to oversee the implementation of the UAE’s National AML/CFT Strategy and National Action Plan (NAP), the program of reforms designed to strengthen the UAE’s anti-financial crime system.

The Executive Office’s responsibilities include:

-Improving national and international coordination and cooperation on AML/CFT issues at the policy and operational levels.

-Tackling money laundering and terrorist financing threats by working with regional and international groups, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Working Group on AML-CFT, G20, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

This is done in conjunction with the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations (NAMLCFTC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).

-Actively increasing information sharing between law enforcement agencies, supervisors, and the private sector.

-Exploring and enhancing legislation, in coordination with MoFAIC and relevant UAE entities, to further strengthen the UAE’s current AML/CFT framework.

-Coordinating with MoFAIC in ensuring that progress is accurately articulated and reflected to the Higher Committee on AML/CFT

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