Hamid Al Zaabi, director-general of the UAE Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing, said, “The inter-connectedness of international organized criminal networks, often accelerated by technological advancement, is become more sophisticated, but we are fighting back through the power of intelligence, advanced analytics, technology, investigations, and public-private partnerships.
“There is still much work to do, but we take encouragement from our progress so far.
“We have dedicated significant resources to accelerate our abilities in detecting, investigating, and understanding money laundering and terrorism financing as we advance financial crime compliance frameworks in the UAE and around the world.”
Some of the key measures taken by the government to curb money laundering and terror financing include:
Public-private partnership committee: The committee, chaired by the executive office, and comprising members from 17 government agencies and 22 private agencies will help sharpen the focus on improving investigations and prosecution in financial crimes, including intelligence sharing and analysis across the UAE and globally.
Seminars: Hosting of meetings —attended by more than 2,000 participants from the UAE economic sector, including offshore and onshore financial institutions, as well as members of designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) – to boost engagement between public and private sectors to prevent financial crime.
Compliance workshops: The UAE Ministry of Economy has run more than 11 AML/CFT workshops in English and Arabic – attended by almost 7,000 people, including representatives from higher-risk sectors such as precious metals and real estate.
International cooperation: The UAE’s financial intelligence unit (UAE-FIU) has signed more than 65 memoranda of understanding with its international counterparts. This is a cornerstone of international cooperation and a commitment to action.
Stringent regulations: The UAE has introduced enhanced regulations requiring the registration of companies’ beneficial owners. As of mid-August, more than 93 per cent of UAE-based entities had registered successfully in the ultimate beneficial ownership database.