UAE, UK seek to identify, tackle money laundering and terrorist financing

Programme focused on enhancing protocols designed to identify and tackle money laundering practices, while stemming the flow of funds and commodities for illicit means

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates dirham.

Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates dirham.

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ABU DHABI: The Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) has concluded an initial two-week programme with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which focused on enhancing protocols designed to identify and tackle money laundering practices, while stemming the flow of funds and commodities for illicit means.

Representatives from UAE and UK law enforcement and supervisory agencies attended the meetings which were hosted by the UAE’s Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing and included UK representatives from HMRC and The Special Operations Community Network (SOCNet). The UAE institutions attending included the Ministry of Interior, The Central Bank, The UAE Financial Intelligence Unit, The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Justice.

This programme of engagement builds on the successful inter-governmental conference held in November 2020, which brought together policy, regulatory and operational counterparts to exchange best practices and develop a roadmap for technical cooperation. Subsequent risk-specific workshops have been delivered in 2021 as part of the UAE’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness, build technical expertise, and further strengthen its supervisory system.

This included a series of virtual workshops with the UAE Central Bank and Ministry of Economy to exchange knowledge and best practices in the Supervision of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) such as Exchange Houses and High-Value dealers, webinars with Federal Customs Authority to share understanding of the threat posed by Trade-Based Money Laundering and illicit smuggling of cash and gold. It reinforces the UK’s and UAE’s commitments in building technical expertise and further strengthening their respective intelligence, investigation and supervisory systems.

Kevin Newe from HMRC, said "It is clear the Executive Office, under the direction of Hamid Al Zaabi, has driven significant developments across the UAE’s AML and CFT system, building on existing good practice to increase the UAE’s resilience to illicit financial flows. There is much we can learn from each other, given our respective statuses as international financial centres, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with UAE partners and the Executive Office." Commenting on the programme, Hamid Al Zaabi, Director-General of the Office, said, "In working with international stakeholders such as HMRC, we’ve been able to learn a lot while sharing our respective challenges as financial and commodity-based centres. By continuing to work in close collaboration, it is the shared view that we will be more effective in our fight against corruption, organised crime and terrorism." Tariq alfaham

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.


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