MANAMA - MENAFATF, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-Style Regional Body, adopted its FATF Recommendations ratings for the United Arab Emirates at the closing of its May plenary in recognition of its efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Recommendations (1), (19), and (29) have been upgraded to “Compliant” or “Largely Compliant” in response to the positive measures taken by the UAE. The FATF Recommendations are the technical and legal building blocks for an effective framework to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

Welcoming upgrading the three FATF Recommendations ratings, Hamid AlZaabi, Director-General of the EO AML/CTF, said, “The UAE is working diligently to implement effective measures that ensure that we are fully compliant with the FATF Forty Recommendations. The upgrading of Recommendations (1), (19), and (29) to compliant or largely compliant is a welcome recognition of our progress under the stewardship of the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

"I would like to thank the UAE authorities whose hard work has contributed to this achievement. We will continue our efforts to improve ratings for Recommendations as part of a firm commitment to building an AML/CFT system that befits our vision of becoming a leading country in the fight against financial crime.”

The rerating of Recommendation (1) reflects the progress made by the UAE in implementing a Risk-Based Approach (RBA) and its ongoing work with the World Bank Group to complete its second National Risk Assessment. Recommendation (1) requires member countries to identify, assess, and understand their specific money laundering and terrorist financing risks and to take actions to ensure the risks are mitigated effectively.

Recommendation (19) requires financial institutions to apply enhanced due diligence measures to business relationships and transactions with natural and legal persons and financial institutions from countries for which this is called for by the FATF. It also requires countries to be able to apply appropriate countermeasures when called upon to do so by the FATF.

Recommendation (29) is concerned with operational capabilities and requires countries to establish an operationally independent Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that serves as a national centre for the receipt and analysis of suspicious transaction reports and other information relevant to money laundering, associated predicate offences, and terrorist financing and for the dissemination of the results of that analysis.

The FIU should be able to obtain additional information from reporting entities and have timely access to the financial, administrative, and law enforcement information that it requires to undertake its functions properly.