UAE seeks public-private sector participation to combat financial crimes

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with region’s financial entities have discussed the importance of public-private engagement in operating a sophisticated international financial crime compliance regime.

The meeting, which was co-chaired by Khaled Balama, Governor of the CBUAE, and Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, emphasized the importance of the private sector in bolstering the UAE’s anti-terrorist and anti-money laundering defenses.

According to the reports, “Led by the UAE government authorities, more than 700 private sector constituents gathered to share valuable insights and obtain the latest information on the UAE’s enhanced AML/CFT compliance regime, including key AML/CFT risk areas, regulatory and enforcement developments and the importance of enhanced engagement between the public and private sectors to prevent financial crime.”

Improvements were sought in accordance with the Financial Action Task Force, a global organization tasked with developing effective legal, regulatory, and operational approaches to combating the issues, as per the statement.

Mr. Al Sayegh said, “An effective system to combat money laundering and terrorist financing begins with an active and engaged partnership between the public and private sectors. Banks have made an unprecedented level of investment in both people and IT from an AML/CFT perspective. The UAE government has similarly invested significantly in its law enforcement agencies and financial intelligence unit.”

“By working closely together we will be much more effective in safeguarding the integrity of the UAE and the international financial system. That is why we have convened these sessions. We want to promote a public-private partnership. In doing so, we want everybody to know the important role that our business and financial community plays in protecting us from the threats of money laundering and terrorist financing,” the minister noted.

HE Khaled Mohamed Balama
HE Khaled Mohamed Balama
Governor – CBUAE

“We have set our sights on the anti-money laundering and countering financing terrorism agenda for the interest of the UAE economy. It is our responsibility to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors to safeguard our financial system, and we are pleased to participate in this event, which aims to discuss and exchange views on important topics and trends for the private sector. At the Central Bank, we are keen to put in place frameworks and regulations to reduce financial irregularities, and I can only stress the importance of the continuation of this partnership between the two sectors to achieve our common goals.”

“The scale and complexity of financial crime has increased in recent times, and this requires a collaborative effort to combat financial criminals. The UAE’s awareness and understanding of financial crime is also increasing, requiring additional efforts to connect stakeholders in the public and private sectors, particularly in world-class financial hubs like the Dubai International Financial Centre,” commented Mr. Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of DFSA.

The UAE has established several legislations to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. The country has established a new agency this year to track down money launderers and individuals suspected of funding terrorism and organized crimes.

Related: Digitalization raises the risk of cyberattacks; Report

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