As the United Arab Emirates launches a new anti-money laundering system, reporting entities are required to register by the end of this week, a UAE central bank official said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The new platform (goAML) has been developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for use by the UAE Central Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Reporting entities required to register on the platform by 27 June include financial institutions such as banks, finance companies and exchange houses. The goAML platform will also be used  by law enforcement agencies, and designated non-financial professions such as accountants and lawyers.

Around 50 percent of 900 targeted entities have already registered on the platform, Ali Faisal Baalawi, acting head of the UAE Central Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit, told reporters at the conference. He said that registration began last month.

The platform (goAML) facilitates the receipt, analysis, and dissemination of illicit transactions and activity to law enforcement authorities in the UAE.

According to Baalawi, the UAE is the first country within the GCC to launch this platform, which was customised to the requirements of the UAE’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing framework.

As for the wider MENA region, there two other countries that have already started developing goAML, Hatem Fouad Aly, the UNODC representative for the GCC region told Zawya on the sidelines of the event, without disclosing which countries.

In October last year, the UAE passed a law to combat terror financing and money laundering, in line with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is the international organisation responsible for setting the standards for combating illicit financial transactions. The law mandated setting up a committee to assess and identify risks and the effectiveness of measures against money laundering and terror financing. (Read more here).

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force is set to visit the United Arab Emirates to begin its latest Mutual Evaluation of the country – its first since the 2008 financial crisis – next month.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia was granted full membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in a move that is set to improve its position among foreign investors. (Read more here).

(Reporting by Nada Al Rifai; Editing by Michael Fahy)


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