MoJ, EO AML/CTF welcome election of Counsel Al-Dhanhani as Chair of Counter Terrorist Financing Experts Forum at MENAFATF

ABU DHABI, 1st September, 2022 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) welcomed the election of Counsel Dr. Ahmed Al-Dhanhani as Chair of the Counter Terrorist Financing Experts Forum at the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF).

Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice, commented, "The UAE’s national efforts to counter financial crime continue to produce notable results, and the election of Dr. Al-Dhanhani to this senior position is a testament to this progress and the high esteem in which Emirati AML/CFT officials are held across the region. The appointment by MENAFATF pays tribute to the UAE’s record in this arena and reflects our ongoing commitment to supporting regional and international efforts to counter financial crime."

He continued, "The Ministry of Justice has taken various steps to enhance the judicial system in combating money laundering and terrorist financing, including through resolutions on establishing specialised federal courts and developing processes to facilitate Mutual Legal Assistance Requests from international partners. The Ministry also published a Guide to International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters. This progress has resulted in the arrest of several high-profile individuals accused of financial crime."

Hamid Al Zaabi, Director-General of the EO AML/CTF, said, "I would like to congratulate Dr. Al-Dhanhani on his appointment and extend my best wishes to all members of the Counter Terrorist Financing Experts Forum. MENAFATF is a key partner for the UAE in our efforts to protect the integrity of the global financial system and combat financial crime in all its forms.

"The UAE has continued to invest significant resources into investigating, tracking, and preventing terrorism and terrorist financing. This has led to the interception and imprisonment of numerous terrorists, networks of banned organisations, and their financiers in the UAE and abroad through close coordination with international partners."

Al Zaabi added, "The UAE has achieved success in terrorist financing investigations and prosecutions, and this election recognises our expertise and accomplishment. We will work collectively to continue to make progress against the ever-evolving threats of money laundering and terrorist financing. To enable this, the Executive Office will continue to support and enhance specialist training for Emiratis in service of the national AML/CFT agenda."

Dr. Ahmed Al-Dhanhani, Counsel at the UAE Public Prosecution, commented, "I am pleased to have been chosen by my peers across the region to chair this important forum within MENAFATF. Terrorism is a threat to citisens all over the world and knows no borders. The UAE has developed considerable expertise in counterterrorism and countering the financing of terrorism, and I will work throughout my tenure as chair of this forum to ensure that the effective sharing of knowledge and closer coordination lead to an increase in peace and security by protecting our financial systems from these illegal activities."

MENAFATF was established in 2004 by 14 governments in the Middle East and North Africa as a FATF Style Regional Body. Its mission is to combat financial crime through the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force’s 40 recommendations on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation and adherence to related UN Conventions and UN Security Council Resolutions. MENAFATF members work collaboratively to comply with FATF recommendations, which are considered the globally-accepted international standards for AML/CFT, establish effective AML/CFT systems, and create legal frameworks and systems that are consistent with international best practices.

The Counter Terrorist Financing Experts Forum is a specialist mechanism that ensures MENAFATF member excellence in the areas of CT and CFT. The Forum comprises members from all 14 MENAFATF states, external observers, and the group’s secretariat. It convenes on the sidelines of working group meetings to discuss emerging threats and share best practices. Dr. Al-Dhanhani will hold the position of chair for a two-year term, which can be extended once.