H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, chaired the 19th meeting of the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

Hamid Al Zaabi, Director-General of the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF), gave a presentation to committee members on the status of the UAE’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan and the significant progress made across all items.

The UAE has continued to activate channels of international collaboration through requests for international judicial cooperation, in addition to signing new Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties.

Supervisory authorities continued to operate according to the Risk-Based Approach (RBA) imposing total fines in excess of AED210 million on non-compliant companies since the beginning of the year, in addition to administrative measures and violations. In the area of transparency and company registrars, registries adopted new measures to enhance corporate compliance with Beneficial Ownership (BO) requirements.

The meeting also highlighted a 48% increase in Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) during the first half of 2023, reflecting the increased understanding of the private sector due to the awareness efforts carried out by relevant authorities in the UAE.

Regarding Money Laundering (ML) investigations, an analysis of the increase in the quality and number of money laundering cases was also presented, in particular those consistent with the UAE’s risk profile.

The meeting underscored the statistics published in reports and referrals made by law enforcement authorities, in addition to the convictions and confiscations that took place during the most recent reporting period.

Over the past two years, the total value of confiscations amounted to more than AED4 billion, and the work of law enforcement agencies in the country led to the arrest of 387 international suspects in cooperation with various foreign law enforcement agencies.

The meeting was attended by Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Shamma Bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development; Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice; Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State; Khaled Balama Altameemi, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE; Ali Al Neyadi, Chairman of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority; Lt. Gen Talal Belhoul Al Falasi, Director-General of Dubai State Security; and Lt. Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police.

Ibrahim Mohammed Al Zaabi, Director-General of the State Security Service; and Hamid Saif Al Zaabi, Director-General of the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing, were also present.