UAE Central Bank adviser appointed as anti-money laundering expert at GCC secretariat

Paris-based Financial Action Task Force accredited him as the first Emirati assessor and financial crimes expert in 2018

Waleed Alhosani was jointly appointed by the UAE Central Bank and the GCC secretariat general, which is based in Riyadh. AFP

Waleed Alhosani, the current adviser to the governor of the UAE Central Bank, has been appointed as an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding expert at the secretariat general of the GCC.

Mr Alhosani is also an adviser to the UAE's National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations (NAMLCFTC), the CBUAE said on Thursday.

The appointment was made jointly by the Central Bank and the GCC secretariat general, which is based in Riyadh.

Mr Alhosani's appointment “reflects the UAE's keenness to counter money laundering and terrorist financing through regional and international co-operation, and its efforts to implement the best international practices in line with the National Strategy on Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism objectives”, said Khalid Balama, Central Bank governor and chairman of the NAMLCFTC.

The UAE has expanded its efforts in recent months to tackle money laundering and terror financing risks.

The Ministry of Economy set up an anti-money laundering department while a court was established in Abu Dhabi to tackle money laundering and tax evasion.

The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF), which was established a year ago, has said UAE authorities have confiscated Dh2.33 billion ($634.4 million) as part of an intensive clamp down on financial crime.

Dr. Waleed Alhosani provisionally appointed to the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Photo: The Central Bank of the UAE

The CBUAE last year also instructed all hawala providers — informal fund transfer agents operating outside the banking system — to register with it in a bid to strengthen oversight of money transfers.

The Emirates has also increased levels of international co-operation to counter money laundering. In September, the country agreed to a partnership with the UK to tackle illicit financial flows.

Mr Alhosani holds a doctorate in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding from the University of North Wales in the UK, the Central Bank said.

In 2018, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) accredited him as the first Emirati assessor and financial crimes expert. He also served as a prosecutor and chief prosecutor at the UAE Public Prosecution Office, investigating financial crimes.

The appointment comes after the Paris-based FATF said earlier this month that the UAE had made “significant progress” to strengthen its anti-money laundering controls, including measures to demonstrate increased and swifter action against financial criminals.

In October, the Central Bank fined six exchange houses operating in the country about Dh17.31m for failing to achieve the appropriate levels of compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

Updated: March 10, 2022, 2:26 PM