UAE, UK winds up joint program to tackle financial crimes

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The UAE’s new Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) and its UK counterparts have winded up a two-week program that explored ways of improving protocols designed to identify and tackle money laundering practices while curbing the flow of funds and commodities for illicit means.

Representatives from UAE institutions, including the executive office, the central bank, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the economy, interior and justice ministries held meetings with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as well as the Special Operations Community Network (SOCNet).

Hamid Al Zaabi
Hamid Al Zaabi
Executive Office-AML/CTF

“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 centers. By continuing to work in close collaboration, it is the shared view that we will be more effective in our fight against corruption, organized crime and terrorism.”

This program of engagement builds on the inter-governmental conference held last year, which brought together policy, regulatory and operational counterparts to exchange best practices and develop a roadmap for technical cooperation. 

In line with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness, build technical expertise, and further strengthen its supervisory system, subsequent risk-specific workshops have been delivered this year.

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) like Exchange Houses and High-Value dealers, webinars with Federal Customs Authority to share an understanding of the threat posed by Trade-Based Money Laundering and illicit smuggling of cash and gold.

Commenting on the program, 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 centers.”

Related: MENAFATF rises UAE’s technical compliance for combat money laundering