Increasing transparency and risk assessment… Pillars of the “Anti-Money Laundering Executive Committee” during 2022.
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The United Arab Emirates attaches great importance to the fight against financial crime by raising the level of transparency and applying an approach based on national coordination and regional and international cooperation in dealing with financial crime, promoting awareness, sharing experiences and signing memorandums of understanding and global partnership agreements.
The Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, which was established in February 2021, is a coordinating body that implements the strategy of the national agenda for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
According to monitoring carried out by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, the year 2022 witnessed intense activities of the Executive Office at the internal and external levels, which varied between holding conferences, concluding agreements and memorandums of understanding, international participation, publication of AML results / CFT operations, and holding risk assessment workshops.
– risk evaluation
In early 2022, the Executive Office for Countering Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism and the Executive Office of the Import and Export Control Commission launched a national project to conduct a comprehensive proliferation financing risk assessment in the country.
The Executive Office of the Commission for the Control of Import and Export of Goods leads this project as a local body that leads mechanisms for the implementation of targeted financial sanctions, in coordination with stakeholders in the state and private sectors in the country.
In February 2022, the AML/CFT Executive Office concluded the fourth meeting of the Public-Private Partnership Committee, with participation from the Federal Identity, Nationality, Customs, Port and Network Security Administration. SOCNet British policy against serious and organized crime.
Released data on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing operations show major progress in the UAE’s approach to combating financial crime as a top national priority, as the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Executive Office estimated last March the total value of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist operations and procedures during 2021 to about 3.848 billion dirhams ($1.048 billion).
In April 2022, the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing organized the Partnership Forum 2022 under the slogan “Communication and teamwork in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing”.
During its participation in the Partners Forum, the office indicated that it had launched an institutional project to prepare a strategic plan for the executive office with the aim of developing an integrated map for the office for the years 2022-2026, including the vision, mission, values and strategic goals supported by a series of initiatives, projects and performance indicators, which would improve the position of the UAE as a leading country at the world level in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, and reflect ambitions and aspirations.
In June last year, the Executive Office signed a cooperation agreement with G42 To become the first federal entity in the country to adopt a cloud system.WHIPTo put all your data and digital operations in the cloud G42 CloudBy adopting cloud computing, the executive office will also be able to leverage best-in-class cybersecurity solutions to protect critical data, prevent information leaks, and mitigate risk.
In August 2022, the Executive Office held a meeting where the progress made during the first half of this year was reviewed. The most prominent points of the review included the signing of 5 international agreements on judicial cooperation by the state with the United States of America, Russia, the Netherlands, Denmark and Italy, and the continuation of workshops on strategic and technical cooperation with the European Union and the United States of America, along with the revision of the national economic register that contains information on beneficial ownership for 77 percent of companies – an important criterion of transparency. , established appropriate plans to achieve 100 percent.
And last September, the Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, held a two-day workshop attended by 39 entities in countries representing licensing authorities and company registries, with the aim of developing regulatory and institutional frameworks for the country’s actual customer data system by providing and implementing a comprehensive guide. Contributes to strengthening the ability of business registrants to face and assess risks and to develop guidelines and evidence for reporting suspicious activity.
This workshop is a continuation of the first and second workshops that were held in June and July this year as part of the Ministry’s efforts to improve the system for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. , in accordance with the applicable national legislation in this sense, and in accordance with the best international standards and requirements of the International Working Group /FATF./.
The Executive Office also led the country’s delegation that participated in the International Symposium on Economic Crime in Cambridge entitled “Overview – Insider Crime and Abuse of Trust” held in London in September 2022 with the participation of the Mayor of London, Attorneys General, numerous Ministers of Justice, parliamentarians and directors of oversight and enforcement agencies from around the world.
– upper bodies
The month of October 2022 was at the top of the activities of the Executive Office for Countering Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, since it hosted the summit of the 14th regulatory authorities of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, in partnership with organizers from the London Stock Exchange Group and in the presence of more than 450 people from governments, risk and compliance experts and financial crime experts from around the world.
The office discussed with the President of the Management Board of the Unit for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Egypt the strengthening of international cooperation and the continuation of discussions from the meeting in Cairo last August. The experience of the UAE was also considered in a number of axes, including an electronic system for monitoring the compliance of entities with the strategy and the national action plan, and a partnership commission was established between the two sectors. Public and private, with progress on risk assessment work carried out in partnership with the World Bank Group, as well as sharing the experience of the country’s financial information unit on the methods of strategic analysis of the UAE financial information unit and the system goAML from the Egyptian side.
The office also held a workshop on “Patterns of Exploitation of Legal Entities” as part of a series of educational workshops for officials working to combat financial crime, in the presence of more than 150 participants from regulatory bodies, company registries, law enforcement agencies and the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The Executive Office signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to enhance cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The memorandum provides a framework for joint efforts, mutual understanding and strengthening of cooperation between the two parties in order to achieve common goals in combating these crimes.
The office also signed a memorandum of understanding with Rabdan Academy to develop joint programs that contribute to raising awareness of financial crime as well as improving human resources. The pillars of the partnership between the two sides include the design and delivery of specialized academic and professional programs to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and nuclear proliferation.
In November 2022, the UAE Public-Private Partnership Subcommittee (an initiative issued by the National Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Committee) released the first public consultation document regarding an organizational approach to sharing strategic information between the two sectors, and its mission is to consult with financial institutions and non-financial professions and companies. From the private sector for the development of best practices and the exchange of information, guidelines and experiences in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The office held a series of workshops that launched the second assessment of national risks in the country, in the presence of more than 80 participants from the ministries of justice, economy and finance, the Central Bank, regulatory authorities, company registries and law enforcement agencies. The workshops aimed to identify, assess and understand the country’s money laundering and terrorist financing risks for 2023.
The office also discussed with the Ministry of Economy the efforts of the country’s company registers and their role in implementing more than 75% of the objectives of the operational plan for company registers arising from the national plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing during the year 2022, which improves the position countries on global indicators of competitiveness. Achieving compliance is a lever for increasing trust and high reputation in the national economy, building global partnerships and investment flow.
During December of this year, the Executive Office signed a memorandum of understanding with the “Trends Research and Consulting Center” to improve the level of knowledge in areas of strategic importance to the fight against financial crime in the country and to enable policy makers in the government and the private sector sectors and various bodies with insights and new information.
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