Thursday 09 february 2023 - 6:43:24 am

Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing delivers ‘Patterns of Abuse of Legal Entities’ workshop

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ABU DHABI, 17th October, 2022 (WAM) -- The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counterterrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) delivered the latest in a series of training workshops for officials working in the field of combatting financial crime, titled ‘Patterns of abuse of legal entities.’

The workshop was delivered over two days in Dubai and was attended by more than 150 participants from supervisory authorities, registrar offices, law enforcement agencies, and federal prosecution.

Hamid Al Zaabi, Director General of the EO AML/CTF, highlighted that while corporations play an essential role in the economy, they can be used for illicit purposes.

He explained, “Financial criminals around the world abuse legal entities in order to make ill-gotten gains through money laundering, bribery and corruption, insider dealings, tax fraud, the financing of terrorist activities, and other illegal activities. The UAE has made the fight against financial crime a priority by increasing transparency, applying a risk-based approach, ensuring closer national coordination, and enhancing expertise.”

He added, “Registrars in the UAE are working closely with financial institutions (FIs) and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) to identify beneficial owners, manage ML/TF risks, and implement AML/CFT controls based on these risks. The Executive Office is building a long term, sustainable, and effective AML/CFT framework, and as part of our strategy the EO AML/CTF will continue to organise and deliver specialist training in service of the national AML/CFT agenda.”

Senior executives from the EO AML/CTF gave three presentations on the first day on the UAE’s national compliance framework and FATF requirements, as well as typologies for the misuse of legal persons.

The Ministry of Economy presented on the UAE’s legal framework for preventing the abuse of legal persons.

Mohamed Al Katheeri, National AML/CTF Statistics Section Head, EO AML/CTF, said, “The UAE has carried out money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessments of all legal entity types, including in product delivery channels, geographical exposure, and company activities. The UAE has also been developing beneficial ownership and has enhanced full implementation of the National Economic Registry relating to basic information. Under the aegis of the EO AML/CTF, the UAE has unified information requirements by implementing new legislative obligations for verifying and updating information registries. The government has also developed proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for non-compliance cases.”

Dubai Police, the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit, Executive Office for Control and Non-Proliferation, Public Prosecution, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, and Customs and Port Security delivered presentations on various case studies and their typologies, as well as a session on targeted financial sanctions implementation and United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Sessions on supervision and risk-based approach and guidance for relevant entities were given by Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dubai Financial Services Authority for FIs and DNFBPs to aid their understanding of sector-specific risks.

Building on the expanded cooperation between government and business in the field of AML/CFT, Citi, HSBC, Dubai Islamic Bank, PwC, and Ernst & Young presented case studies.

 

Hazem Hussein/ Amjad Saleh