UAE makes progress in combating money laundering and terrorism financing, committee says

The country has rolled out several initiatives and is coordinating in areas such as governance and supervision with international partners

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: N/A: Standalone. A kite surfer performs in the bay in front of the Abu Dhabi skyline at sunset. Monday, April 27th, 2020. Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The UAE has made "significant" progress with a national plan to combat money laundering and curb terrorism financing in the country, according to a statement issued by the country's central bank.

The Emirates has rolled out several initiatives and is coordinating in areas such as governance and supervision with countries that share its commitment to fight financial crime, the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations (NAMLCFTC), said in the statement on Monday.

“To create further awareness of financial crimes that threaten the security and stability of the country, NAMLCFTC recently developed a new website to assist strategic partners and stakeholders in complying with international-standard reporting measures,” the committee said after its sixth meeting of the year, which was held on Monday.

The meeting overseen by committee chairman and central bank governor Abdulhamid Saeed discussed the role of technology and capacity building – both in terms of human and financial resources.

A new smart platform that uses technology to detect financial crimes has been developed, while capacity building will strengthen the UAE’s ability to implement targeted financial sanctions relating to the prevention and suppression of terrorism and terrorist financing, the committee's statement said.

It also reviewed the progress of the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) – an independent arm that investigates suspicious transactions. A new brand identity and website are planned for the unit to improve transparency and cooperation with international authorities as and financial institutions, the committee said.

The UAE, which is home to more than 50 local, regional and international banks, has strict laws to deal with money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In June last year, the UAE become the first GCC country to launch 'goAML', a reporting platform developed by the United Nations to curb organised crime. More than 900 entities including, banks, insurance companies and money exchange centres became part of the platform to help regulators prevent money laundering, the financing of terrorism and other illicit financial activities, state news agency Wam said in a statement at the time.