Sami Abdel Raouf (Dubai)
Participants in the meeting of the sub-committees of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Committee in the UAE, in Dubai yesterday, affirmed that the UAE is making great efforts to support international efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, as the country is a strategic and important partner in this aspect.
In statements to Al-Ittihad, they said: “The UAE continues in its leading position as a world economic center with a distinguished reputation. We have set our eyes, within the agenda of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, in the interest of the UAE economy and assisting the international community in this important and vital file.”
They added: “The UAE is taking continuous steps to strengthen efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and has achieved tangible successes and positive results, based on its firm belief that the efforts of the international community to combat international terrorism will not be successful without cutting off all its sources of financing.”
They pointed to the efforts of the UAE and its cooperation with the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to monitor, report and analyze suspicious activities through the Suspicious Activities Reporting System, company records and other information sharing channels.
They stressed that only through concerted efforts by the government, regulatory agencies, law enforcement, the judiciary, and financial and non-financial companies, can the UAE and the world respond effectively to the threat of money laundering and terrorist financing crimes.
The meeting, the first day of the work of the sub-committees, participated in the meeting, His Excellency Ahmed bin Ali Mohammed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, His Excellency Abdullah Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council in Dubai, His Excellency Major General Talal Belhoul, Director of the State Security Agency in Dubai, and Hamid Al Zaabi, Director General of the Executive Office for Anti-Laundering Funds and terrorism financing, heads of sub-committees, a number of officials and representatives of the concerned and competent authorities in the state.
The attendees discussed the initiatives and basic executive action plans that have been achieved, emanating from the national strategy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and the national action plan.
The meetings of the first day reviewed the national strategy to combat money laundering and its keenness to enhance coordination and communication with all international organizations and bodies in order to raise the capabilities of countries in confronting such crimes and in order to strengthen their work system in the face of money laundering crimes.
Attendees from all committees are currently, through the workshops, drafting and preparing the initial draft of the state’s report on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
Results and numbers
Hamed Al Zaabi, Director General of the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, said: “The file of combating money laundering and terrorist financing receives the attention and follow-up of our wise leadership, and the UAE is fully playing its role in this aspect.”
He added: “The UAE has achieved a very high commitment, and all agencies and companies are working in accordance with the procedures required of them and assigned to them, and everyone is working to achieve one goal, which is for the UAE to be among the best countries in the world to achieve economic and social stability.”
He stated that all the emirates of the country are concerted efforts and take strict measures to curb any violations related to this important topic locally and globally, stressing the UAE’s interest in the issue of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, due to its global and regional economic weight, due to its large volume of trade and the presence of 220 nationalities.
He stressed that the competent authorities in the country are aware of the magnitude of the risks and give priority to dealing with them and overcoming challenges, and are working to highlight the UAE as a country that supports international efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
He stated that the UAE is preparing to submit its report to the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which will hold its next meeting in Paris in February next year, and we have taken great measures, and these measures have been adopted by the Supreme Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
Regarding the role and plan of the Executive Office to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, Al-Zaabi replied: “The office plays the role of the national coordinator for all the state’s efforts related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.”
He pointed out that the office plays a pivotal and field role, as 8 sub-committees have been formed at the state level related to control, money laundering, terrorism financing, and the regulation of companies between the public and private sectors.
The committees also include a committee that investigates money laundering crimes, another for risk assessment, and the same for international cooperation.
He noted that the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing has raised awareness and education.
Al-Zaabi revealed that suspicious financial transactions related to money laundering and terrorist financing were accessed, as 1,000 suspicious transactions were monitored in the gold sector in a short period, in addition to other large complex issues that were seized and dealt with.
He pointed out that 6 companies violated during the past week, 11 banks and 200 law firms.
He stated that 70% of the real financial beneficiary’s data was completed in just one month, and this is a real achievement.
Major General Khalil Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, said: “A meeting was held under the chairmanship of His Excellency Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, with officials of local authorities in the Dubai government, and they discussed concerted efforts to advance the country among the developed countries.”
He pointed out that the meeting dealt with the efforts of the police, security and local authorities to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing cases, stressing that the UAE is making efforts to address organized crime, and it has bright white fingerprints in arresting the accused and handing them over to justice in the concerned countries.
Al-Mansoori stressed that there is insistence and agreement on the concerted efforts of all parties in order to achieve the public interest, and to address such troubling phenomena for public security.
The anti-money laundering and terrorist financing subcommittees reviewed the latest developments in the implementation of the national action plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, in addition to future plans to achieve the desired goals to the fullest.
Brigadier Abdulaziz Al-Ahmad, Chairman of the Subcommittee for Investigating Bodies of Money Laundering Crimes in the United Arab Emirates, reviewed the national strategy to combat money laundering and its keenness to enhance coordination and communication with all international organizations and bodies in order to raise the capabilities of countries in facing such crimes and in order to strengthen the system of private work. in the face of money laundering crimes.
Al-Ahmad said: “This strategy works, in particular, to identify the main areas that require improvement, by setting strategic priorities and providing a more comprehensive work methodology for the purpose of managing the process of reducing potential risks and challenges for businesses and specific non-financial professions.”
He added, “This is done through supporting several initiatives and basic executive action plans emanating from the national strategy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and the national action plan.”
Al-Ahmad outlined the national priorities in the strategy for confronting financial crimes, including the priorities of strategic analysis, activating information, financial cooperation, exchanging experiences and information, increasing the awareness of national authorities and institutions regarding the type of transactions and developments that have taken place, and improving and developing the capabilities of national institutions in collecting, building and analyzing statistics that focus on Movement of funds and valuables.
He revealed a number of initiatives and projects that have been worked on and some of them are under way, related to strengthening national capabilities in the fight against money laundering, the most important of which are the National Guide for Information and Financial Investigations and the integrated system for reviewing and determining the performance of partners, and raising the efficiency of performance through scientific indicators, to The continuous joint work aspect of workshops and meetings with all concerned institutions and partners, and developing the performance of national human cadres.
Al-Ahmad also referred to a large number of understandings and agreements in the areas of enhancing expertise, exchanging information and opinions with local, Arab and international technical bodies, and working to build a strategic system on combating money laundering crimes and limiting them while adhering to international standards.
Al-Ahmad stressed that these efforts contribute to raising the level of the UAE globally, pointing to the strengthening of legislative aspects in cooperation with judicial authorities, the establishment of specialized organizational units, and the provision of training courses and programs in accordance with international best practices.
Ahmed Abdullah Qurian, Director of the Coordination and Follow-up Department at the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, spoke about the department’s role in coordinating with the sub-committees of the National Committee and following up on the national plan. He pointed out that one of the most important achievements in the past few years is the unification of efforts and the exchange of experiences and information, pointing out that in the month of October, the country’s report will be submitted to the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a report called the “Follow-up Report”, and it will be discussed in the month of October. February next year. He stated that one of the most important priorities during the coming period is for the UAE to be a member of the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which currently includes 39 countries around the world.
Hoda Belhoul, Director of Communication and Strategic Partnerships at the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, said that the meetings of the subcommittees, which extend until next Thursday, work to coordinate efforts, enhance the state’s file, and highlight the UAE’s efforts in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
She pointed out that the meetings include many sessions and workshops, including a review of some issues that embody the efforts of the state through the efforts of the competent investigation authorities and the procedures of the Emirates Commodities and Securities Authority, in addition to the issue of risk assessment.
Belhoul said: “We have great results and achievements that show the extent of our commitment to the required measures regarding combating money laundering and terrorist financing, increasing international cooperation and exchanging information, so that the competent international authorities commend the efforts made by the UAE.”