Friday 22 September 2023 - 5:06:27 am

Executive Office of AML/CTF holds National Risk Assessment workshops with World Bank

ABU DHABI, 9th November, 2022 (WAM) -- The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) held a series of workshops kickstarting the UAE’s second National Risk Assessment (NRA) aimed at identifying, assessing, and understanding its money laundering and terrorist financing risks for the coming year.

The workshops were held over four days in Abu Dhabi and brought together more than 80 participants from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of the UAE, supervisory authorities, registrar offices, and law enforcement agencies divided into specific working groups focusing on key topics.

The working groups included Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Threat Assessment; Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Threat National Vulnerability; Legal Persons Risk Assessment; Financial Institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs); and Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs).

Hamid Al Zaabi, Director General of the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing, emphasised in his welcome remarks the importance of the NRA to the UAE’s long-term plans.

“The UAE is building a robust and effective AML/CFT system with the objective of being a global leader in the fight against financial crime. To achieve this, we are looking to build expertise and knowledge in risk assessment within the wide range of institutions participating in the workshops this week. The adoption of the World Bank methodology grants us confidence that our Risk-Based Approach will continue to deliver results," he said.

This marks the first time the UAE is using the toolkit developed by the World Bank to self-assess its ML/TF risks. Over the past ten years, the World Bank’s NRA Toolkit has been used by more than 100 jurisdictions in leading their own risk assessments and designing action plans for more effective AML/CFT policies and practices.

The NRA is a core component of the UAE’s evolving approach to combating ML/TF by empowering the UAE’s public and private sector partners to enhance their understanding of the inherent ML/TF risks facing the nation as a whole.

The NRA also provides a basis on which to formulate appropriate policies and activities to mitigate the impact of the inherent risks identified.

The UAE has taken sustained action to prevent the abuse of the financial system as a top national and international priority. The UAE is working closely with the Financial Action Task Force to strengthen collective defences against financial crime. The UAE is committed to taking action to combat illicit finance and improve the effectiveness of its approach in line with international best practices outlined in the World Bank’s toolkit.

Lina Ibrahim/ Hazem Hussein