UAE Executive Office to combat money laundering, terrorism funding
26 Feb 2021

In a major step to combat money laundering and financing terrorism, the UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the establishment of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

The Executive Office will oversee the implementation of the UAE’s National AML/CFT Strategy and National Action Plan (NAP), the programme of reforms designed to strengthen the UAE’s anti-financial crime system.

Hamid Al Zaabi the Director-General of the Executive Office of the UAE, said the office will strengthen the UAE’s domestic defences against money laundering and terrorist financing while enabling effective enforcement.

The office will report directly to the Higher Committee overseeing the UAE’s National AML/CFT Strategy, chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“In light of the vision of the UAE’s leadership, and the guidance of the Chair of the Higher Committee overseeing the UAE’s National AML/CFT Strategy, the UAE takes its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system extremely seriously,” Al Zaabi said during a virtual conference on Wednesday.

“The scale and complexity of financial crime has increased. So too has the UAE’s awareness and understanding of it. That is why the UAE is committed to taking action.”

He said that there will be a specialised court in Abu Dhabi on the federal level to look into money laundering and financing terrorism cases.

He pointed out that UAE Central Bank announced recently that it had sanctioned 11 banks in the UAE for failures to achieve appropriate levels of compliance with regards to AML/CFT and local compliance.

“The Executive Office is a reflection of the high-level political commitment to establishing and operating a sophisticated financial crime compliance system across all UAE entities,” added Al Zaabi.

The Executive Office will work as the primary national coordinating body on AML/CFT efforts within the UAE, holding a wide-ranging mandate to assist UAE AML/CFT related entities in enhancing efficiency to better address the country’s National Action Plan (NAP).

By Ali Al Shouk, Gulf News, 24 February 2021

Read more at Gulf News

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