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Anti-money laundering regulations successful: Al Suwaidi

posted on 06/06/2004: 1740 views

The anti-money laundering regulations and rules implemented by the UAE have substantially reduced cases of transfer of suspicious money from outside the UAE, Central Bank Governor Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi said yesterday. In a statement following the opening of the Regional Seminar for Representatives of South Asian Countries on establishing a Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU, he said that the previous cases monitored in the UAE had not come from inside the UAE, but transferred from outside. He said the situation now is better, stressing that the UAE is not a place for financial crimes.

Al Suwaidi noted that a number of Arab countries and global financial institutions have approached the UAE to benefit from its experience in combating money laundering. Earlier, in his inaugural speech at the seminar, Al Suwaidi said that FIU, is an important pillar in the fight against money laundering. He said that the seminar will have experts discussing the details relating to establishing and running a FIU. He said that a large team had arrived from the US to conduct this important seminar and the presence of a number of experts is a manifestation of the commitment to provide technical assistance to the region in the area of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.

He said that in the UAE, moves to establish an FIU started in the mid-nineties, when suspicious transactions including traces of money transfers from some fraud cases were observed. "As a result, we formed a team within our Banking Supervision and Examination Department, BSED, to examine suspicious cases and to help courts with fraud investigations," he said. The Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit, AMLSCU, was formed in 1998 by having of the team from the BSED responsible for financial crime or suspicious cases, he said.

He said that the new unit was essential in the UAE's fight against financial crime. The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee was set up in 2000, comprising representatives from the bank and several concerned Ministries ad well as the UAE Customs Authority, Municipalities, Free Trade Zones and federation of Chambers of Commerce, the five largest banks and three largest money changers, to enable proper communication and coordination.

At the end of 2002, an important regulation was issued to banks, money changers and financial institutions related to suspicious transactions and customer identification. Abdul Rahim Al Awadi, Executive Director, AMLSCU, said that the UAE had extended technical assistance on combating money laundering to a number of countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The three-day seminar is being attended by experts from a number of South Asian countries. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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