UAE and UK to continue joint efforts targeting financial crimes

By Salma C, Intern Reporter
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Under the UAE-UK partnership to tackle illicit financial flows, a milestone in combating illicit financial flows, the two countries will continue to pursue joint efforts to target money laundering, serious and organized crime, while improving mutual understanding of illegal financial threats and risks.

Earlier, the UAE and UK authorities had shared ideas to enable partners to better understand issues of concern to each other, as well as illegal financial risks, threats, and typologies, at meetings for various technology workshops in Abu Dhabi and London.

Experts from the UAE and UK discussed several key issues, including Understanding the threats and vulnerabilities of money laundering in the UAE and UK, Identifying serious and organized crime groups involved in money laundering, and Dealing with high-risk and complex illegal financial practices.

In addition, the two sides discussed the management of emerging illegal financial trends, such as virtual assets, financial intelligence unit priorities, responsibilities, best practices, public-private partnerships and raising awareness within the private sector, and law enforcement approaches to illegal finance.

Directors of the workstreams under the partnership from the UAE side, Mr. Mohamed Shalo of the Executive Office for Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing and Ms. Huda Belhoul of the Federal Immigration, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security Authority, stated that “The UAE continues to take strong and effective action against illicit finance. The workshops held under the UAE-UK Partnership to Tackle Illicit Financial Flows are emblematic of both countries’ collaborative efforts to protect the financial system and disrupt terrorists, money launderers, and organized crime groups. We are grateful to the UK authorities who participated in the joint workshops and are resolute in advancing our shared priorities to fight this global problem.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Rob Jones, Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre, and Mr. Simon York, Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service and the UK-UAE Countering Illicit Finance Champion, remarked that “The UK is committed to working more closely with the UAE to tackle illicit finance as part of the Partnership signed by the Home Secretary and Mr. Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, in September 2021 to deliver joint operational successes. These workshops held in Abu Dhabi and London allowed both countries to work together to better understand the threats we are facing and agree on joint actions to target money launderers who enable the worst forms of criminality. We appreciate the UAE authorities who have worked collaboratively to make these workshops a success and we look forward to the next phase of the Partnership.”

UAE-UK Partnership to Tackle Illicit Financial Flows

The UAE-UK Partnership to Tackle Illicit Financial Flows was launched in September 2021 as part of the new, ambitious, and strengthened partnership for the future between the United Kingdom and the UAE as announced by UK Prime Minister Mr. Boris Johnson and HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Partnership is co-chaired by Mr. Ahmed Al Sayegh and The Right Honorable Ms. Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary.

The UAE-UK partnership is the tangible expression of the UAE and UK’s shared ambition to enhance cooperation in curbing illicit financial flows between the two countries. It offers a strong platform for building a strong and sustainable strategic partnership by advancing priorities such as the UK’s Integrated Review and the UAE’s National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

Related: Financial Action Task Force recognizes UAE’s AML/CFT & CPF efforts