Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: - The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) led a delegation to Belgrade to meet with Serbian partners and discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations in the field of AML/CTF.
HE Hamid Al Zaabi, Director General of the EO AML/CTF, headed the delegation, which included senior officials from government agencies, including the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Executive Office for Control and Non Proliferation. The delegation was welcomed by HE Siniša Mali, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the National AML/CTF Coordination Body.
Ali Faisal Ba’Alawi, Head of the UAE FIU, and counterpart Željko Radovanović, Director, Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering (Serbian FIU), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on enhanced bilateral cooperation, including the facilitation of information exchange and joint activities. The MoU is the 62nd signed between the UAE FIU and an international FIU.
The meeting covered various topics, including compliance with AML/CTF standards, national risk assessments, the fight against organized crime, ML investigations and prosecutions, and AML/CTF supervision and targeted financial sanctions.
The UAE delegation presented an overview of the UAE’s approach to fighting financial crime and the National AML/CTF Strategy and Action Plan. Briefings were delivered on key UAE initiatives, an update on progress in implementing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations, and the UAE’s approach to targeted financial sanctions.
Commenting on the visit, HE Hamid Al Zaabi, Director General of the EO AML/CTF, said, "Effective international cooperation is essential in the fight against financial crime, and we appreciate our Serbian partners hosting such productive meetings. High-quality and timely information is crucial for the effectiveness of regional and global AML/CTF efforts, and the signing of this MoU between our FIUs sends a strong message to financial criminals.”
Serbian authorities presented on their National Plan, approach to the fight against financial crime, and National Risk Assessment (NRA).
On the occasion of signing the MoU, Director of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering Mr. Željko Radovanović said that the MoU should be viewed in a broader context, as a possibility and an encouragement to explore other areas of cooperation, including experience and knowledge sharing. Along these lines Mr. Radovanović added that Serbia has got precious experience to share in respect of risk assessment of virtual asset service providers; of companies by type and financing of proliferation. Moreover, Serbia is among the first countries in the region that conducted these assessments.
Minister Siniša Mali emphasised the following: “The United Arab Emirates is an exceptionally important partner of the Republic of Serbia and a friendly country and therefore further strengthening of strategic relations and firm partnership of the two countries is crucial for Serbia. The implementation of major projects, such as Belgrade Waterfront and investments into our national air carrier, Air Serbia, are only some of the examples of our successful cooperation. For this reason I am very pleased that we are taking now a step further enhancing cooperation in the area of AML/CFT. Money laundering has a number of negative effects on a state and society, as unregulated financial flows affect any financial system and economy. Serbia is open for cooperation and knowledge and information sharing in this field, which is extremely sensitive and dynamic, especially in the context of increased use of new technologies.”
Both parties committed to further strengthening collaboration between the two countries to combat financial crime and ensure a safe and secure global financial system.
For more information
Please contact Ms Aliya Almheiri: Aliya.Almheiri@amlctf.gov.ae
About EO AML/CTF
The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing was established by UAE Cabinet decree in 2021 and is charged with overseeing the implementation of the National AML/CTF Strategy and the National Action Plan (NAP). The EO AML/CTF is the primary national coordinating body on AML/CTF efforts within the UAE and aims to enable and better equip the UAE in building a strong and sustainable AML/CTF structure. To achieve its objectives, the EO AML/CTF holds a wide-ranging mandate to assist AML/CTF related entities in enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.
About the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit
The UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (UAE-FIU) is a key governmental agency for preventing and combatting money laundering, associated predicate offences, and terrorist financing. It serves as the national centre for the receipt, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence.
The UAEFIU is an administrative type FIU, with distinct core functions and complete operational independence and autonomy. It can make arrangements and engage directly with other domestic competent authorities or foreign FIU counterparts on the exchange of information.
About Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering
The Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering (APML) is an administrative body within the Ministry of Finance. The APML performs financial-intelligence activities: it collects, processes, analyses and disseminates to the competent authorities information, data and documentation obtained in line with the AML/CFT Law, and performs other activities related to the prevention and detection of money laundering and terrorism financing in accordance with the law.
The APML is the financial intelligence unit (FIU) of the Republic of Serbia. It is an administrative-type FIU and a member of the Egmont Group (as of 2003). It exchanges information with its counterpart FIUs through the Egmont Secure Web and in other appropriate manner, and takes part in international AML/CFT cooperation.