UAE publicises improvements in AML/CFT systems

One of the UAE’s most prominent political figures has put his name to an extensive article outlining what appear to be substantial changes to the emirates’ anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) systems.

In 2020 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned the UAE that “fundamental and major improvements” to its AML/CFT and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction systems were needed to avoid it placing the country on its so-called grey list of countries under increased monitoring.

Efforts highlighted

The article by UAE minister of state Ahmed al-Sayegh highlights the establishment of the higher committee overseeing the national strategy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, which is chaired by minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.

Al-Sayegh also pointed to the efforts to improve AML/CFT effectiveness by law enforcement bodies, oversight institutions, the judiciary (which includes a new AML court in Dubai), ministries, the financial intelligence unit (FIU), and the executive office for anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing.

Recent achievements

According to al-Sayegh, these efforts have enhanced the UAE’s understanding and collective commitment to combating transnational financial crime and he lists some recent achievements in the emirates’ AML/CFT systems.

These include the integration of cutting edge technologies to facilitate reporting and analysing suspicious transaction data, such as the GoAML system developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Integrated Enquiries Management System (IEMS) platform for communications between the FIU, central bank, private sector institutions and law enforcement.

He also cites the Fawri Tick system that integrates and aggregates AML/CFT cases across federal and local authorities and facilitates communication among relevant authorities.

Workshops and international cooperation

The ministry of economy has conducted 11 workshops on AML/CFT compliance attended by around 7,000 people, including representatives from high-risk sectors like precious metals and real estate according to al-Sayegh.

He also says the UAE has worked closely with European Union and UK institutions to facilitate the exchange of experience and build capacity in the UAE for confronting money laundering and terrorism financing.

The article, UAE Enhances its Regimes to Combat Financial Crimes, is published by the London-based and Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat news service and can be found here.


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