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INTERNATIONAL ISSUES - MONEY LAUNDERING


NAMLC discusses report on of legal, regulatory, supervisory and corporate framework enhancement for anti-money laundering


posted on 16/06/2013

The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC) held its 2nd meeting for the year 2013 at Head Office of the Central Bank in Abu Dhabi, under the Chairmanship of Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of the Central Bank, Chairman of the NAMLC.
The meeting, which was attended by the members of the Committee, reviewed a report regarding the 17th MENAFATF Plenary Meeting, 16th Technical Assistance '&' Typologies Working Group Meeting, 20th Mutual Evaluation Working Group Meeting and 7th Financial Intelligence Units Forum and the Forum Committee during the period 28 April 2013 - 02 May 2013, Khartoum, Republic of Sudan.
It also discussed an update report regarding the developments in the area of legal, regulatory, supervisory and corporate framework enhancement for Anti- Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism in consistence with the recommendations defined at UAE Mutual Evaluation Report submitted at the 17th MENAFATF Plenary Meeting during the period 30 April 2013 - 02 May 2013, Khartoum, Republic of Sudan.
Furthermore, NAMLC then addressed the remaining items on its Agenda and made decisions in respect thereof. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE to tighten disclosure law


posted on 30/05/2013

The Abu Dhabi Finance Public Prosecution has submitted proposals to the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee to amend some articles to add more teeth to Federal Law No 4 of 2004.
Hassan Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Finance Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi, said the present law covered disclosure of funds entering the country but not outgoing funds or metals, jewellery and precious stones. However, the Central Bank had already instructed banks, exchange houses and exit points to get as much disclosure on outgoing monetary flows
Al Hammadi said there should be a legislative frame issued by a competent authority to cover the activity
Addressing the first monthly media forum organised by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department here on Wednesday, Al Hammadi revealed that non-disclosure cases directed to the Public Prosecution last year stood at 18, of which 11 were money laundering, and seven cases in which sources of the money were not disclosed
Regarding the disclosure system, Al Hammadi said funds of more than Dh100,000 entering the country should be disclosed. He asked the public to disclose voluntarily if the fund they were bringing in was more than Dh100,000 and their possessions included gold and jewellery. If not, he said, they would be liable by law to make disclosures. – Khaleej Times

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National Anti-Money Laundering Committee holds first meet for 2013


posted on 21/03/2013

The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC) held its 3rd meeting for the year 2012 on Thursday 20/09/2012, at Head Office of the Central Bank in Abu Dhabi, under the Chairmanship of Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of Central Bank, Chairman of the NAMLC, which was attended by the representatives of Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, Dubai Police General Headquarters State Security Authority, General Directorate of State Security in Dubai, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce '&' Industry, Economic Development Department of Abu Dhabi, Economic Development Department of Dubai, Federal Customs Authority, Securities '&' Commodities Authority, Insurance Authority, Dubai Financial Services Authority, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Emirates NBD, Mashreq Bank, Al Ansari Exchange, UAE Exchange and Al Rostamani Exchange.
The NAMLC discussed the items on its agenda as follows:
1) The NAMLC reviewed and approved minutes of its meeting No. (4/2012), held on 20/12/2012.
2) The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf GCC report regarding the first plenary meeting of twenty-forth session of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which was held from 15/10/2012 to 19/10/2012 in Paris - France.
3) Outcome of the second meeting of combating money laundering and terrorist financing working team which was held on 30/01/2013 in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
4) Outcome of the second plenary meeting of the twenty-forth session of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its working group meetings, which were held from 20/02/2013 to 22/02/2013 in Paris - France.
Furthermore, NAMLC then addressed the remaining items on its Agenda and took decisions in respect thereof. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE steps up fight vs. money-laundering


posted on 15/07/2012

A delegation consisting of officials from the UAE Central Bank and the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit, or AMLSCU, made a successful participation in the 20th Egmont Group plenary session, as well as its working groups meetings and other events held in St Petersburg in Russia.
The delegation was sent as per the directives of Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, UAE Central Bank Governor and Chairman of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, and was headed by Abdulrahim Mohamed Al Awadi, executive director of the AMLSCU.
The UAE has played an active role and has regularly attended all the meetings and events of the Egmont Group since being admitted as a member in June 2002, the first financial intelligence unit, or FIU, in the Middle East and North Africa region to be a member of the group.
During the 20th plenary session, four new members were admitted, bringing the total membership to 131 FIUs.
The UAE delegation participated in working group meetings, heads of FIUs meeting, plenary sessions and other events of the Egmont Group, including training sessions. Discussions were made on increased coordination and support among member FIUs, capacity building and training among the FIUs, cooperation in the reciprocal exchange of information and other relevant issues. Al Awadi also signed MoUs with the FIUs of Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The signing would facilitate the exchange of information in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing and exchanging of expertise and experience on AML/CFT.
With the signings, the total number of MoUs signed by the UAE FIU is now at 40.
The UAE delegation also held bilateral meetings on the fringes of the Egmont Group events with the delegations of the Russian Federation, the United States, Japan, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, India, Cyprus, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Greece, Switzerland, Canada and Luxembourg. During these meetings, the UAE and other countries discussed strengthening cooperation and coordination in all areas that are of interest to the respective FIUs, and exchanged views on the revised FATF recommendations including implementation issues.
Discussions were also featured on following-up on the joint initiatives on AML/CFT; effective implementation of the MoUs signed between the respective FIUs; holding joint conferences and workshops for technical assistance; training and capacity building; negotiation on MoUs with whom AMLSCU has previously corresponded with; and following up on the degree of cooperation with the respective FIUs.
The discussions were very fruitful and it is a reflection of UAE's efforts in enhancing interaction with the FIUs to facilitate the exchange of information, expertise and experience for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. - Khaleej Times

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UAE busts money laundering network


posted on 26/12/2011

The State Security has foiled a major money laundering crime to smuggle 94,410 kilograms of gold and millions of funds into the country.
The gang were planning to channel the gold into the banking system and then transfer it to a number of Arab and foreign countries but the full-proof inspection measures adopted by the Ministry of Interior at land and air ports had aborted the smuggling attempt and apprehended members of the network.
The ring planned to smuggle the gold and money through oil tankers from an African country to a neighbouring country where two members of the gang would receive them and then deliver them to other members (owners of the tankers) who, in turn, transport and hand the same to other accomplices inside the UAE, but the Police arrested a member of the ring while trying to enter the country through the Ghuweifat border checking point carrying SR 10 million hidden in the truck.
A thorough investigation, monitoring and follow up had provided the Police with important lead and information that led to the detection of the criminal network. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE, US law enforcement agencies meet to discuss trans-border money laundering


posted on 10/02/2011

A group of UAE judges, prosecutors, officers, customs inspectors, and money laundering experts along with representatives from the US Department of Justice gathered here yesterday at the Emirates Palace for a two-day conference to explore best, fool-proof mechanisms to combat smuggling of money through national boundaries.
Addressing the inaugural sitting, Mohammed Ahmed Al Badi, UAE Justice Ministry Undersecretary, said the conference aims at presenting evidence-based cases for combating money laundering and smuggling through national boundaries and reviewing law enforcement mechanism in regard to money laundering in both the UAE and US. The two-day gathering, he added, will also spur joint legal and judicial research. Speaking to delegates, Richard Olson, US Ambassador to the UAE, commended constructive cooperation between the justice ministries in the two friendly countries especially in areas of judicial training.
Abdul Rahman Al Balouchi, Director of International Cooperation, Ministry of Justice, highlighted the importance of the conference as it provides an ideal platform for local and international experts to share knowledge, expertise and experiments in trans-border money laundering. He said that members of UAE judiciary will have the opportunity to get advanced training on the hands of prominent experts from US Department of Justice. A number of papers dealing with financial, criminal judicial and legal aspects of money laundering were reviewed by UAE and US experts. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Anti money laundering measures in insurance activities issued


posted on 08/11/2009

The instructions and measures to deal with the anti money laundering crimes in the insurance activities, have been issued by UAE Economy Minister and Board Chairman of the government National Insurance Authority HE Engineer Sultan Al Mansouri.
HE Fatima Mohammed Ishaq Al Awadhi, deputy director general of the authority, said the issuance of the instructions comes with keenness of the authority, which was set up as per the federal law number six of year 2007, to cooperate and coordinate with the control and monetary authorities to ensure safety of the financial system in the country.
She added that the article one of the instructions defines money laundering concept in which offenders conceal and change source of money gained in illegal ways to make them as legal. This illegal money includes money use in financing terrorism or crime activities. The UAE central Bank issued a circular number 24 of year 2000 and its amendments in this respect.
Al Awadhi noted that the instructions considers offender in the anti money laundering crime to be one who commits or assists in illegal money activities as stated in the second clause, article one of the federal law number 4 of year 2002.
She added that the instructions and measures specified in the article three would be applicable on all the insurance companies, including foreign insurance companies operating in the UAE.
Al Awadhi underlined that the insurance companies and the professions related to them would be held accountable in case anti money laundering crime is committed in their names or in the names of their firms or accounts intentionally.
She called on the insurance firms and the professions related to them to rectify their status as per these instructions within period not more than three months from the date of issuance.

The move comes in line with a series of measures taken by the authority since its inception late 2007 to streamline and update this sector as per the international standards and specifications, as well as enable the national insurance companies to implement the latest concepts implemented in the insurance sector to further boost their competitive capabilities in the regional and world insurance markets. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE to join hands with 82 nations to fight dirty funds


posted on 07/09/2009

The UAE said yesterday it will sign new anti-money laundering agreements with 82 countries as part of an intensified strategy to combat dirty funds. The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC) discussed the plans at a meeting that also covered recent cases of currency fraud and other issues.
The Central Bank, which organised the meeting in Dubai, said the committee heard that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had so far been signed between the anti-money laundering unit and 21 countries.
They were told that the unit planned to sign MoUs with 82 other nations that were members of the Egmont Group, an international gathering of financial intelligence units.
Some of the countries covered by the agreements have large communities in the UAE and financial sources say the agreements will strengthen the drive to crack down on dirty money and ensure the banking system here remains clean.
"These agreements demonstrate the commitment of the UAE to share financial information with its global partners to co-ordinate the efforts against money laundering, terrorist financing and related crimes," a Central Bank spokesman said after some of the deals were signed earlier this year.
"These agreements were aimed at further supporting the UAE's continued co-operation with the international community on subjects of mutual concern and on ways to strengthen co-operation on combating money laundering."
MoUs were signed with the financial intelligence units of Lebanon, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Estonia, Isle of Man, Macedonia, Malawi, Monaco, Nigeria, Portugal, Philippines, Serbia, South Africa and other countries.
The agreements followed a pledge by the UAE last year to push ahead with an extensive campaign against money laundering and terrorist funding through intensified regional and international co-operation. – Emirates Business 24|7

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Banks join global money laundering battle


posted on 30/08/2009

Banks in the UAE have until Sunday to disclose details of accounts held by foreign officials and politicians as the Central Bank tightens regulations on money laundering. The move, which brings the UAE into line with standards in other international financial centres, follows recent high-profile cases involving alleged fraud in the region and internationally.
International regulators are increasing pressure on banks to reduce their exposure to the risk of money laundering.
Claims by the troubled Saudi Arabian conglomerate Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi and Brothers against Dubai's Mashreqbank and Maan al Sanea, the billionaire head of the Saudi Saad Group, for alleged fraud, and the case of jailed US financier Bernie Madoff, convicted of swindling US$65 billion (Dh238.74bn) from investors, are among events that have heightened concerns about irregularities in global financial systems.
Banks, investment firms, finance companies and other financial institutions had until tomorrow to submit details of politically connected foreigners with bank accounts to the regulator's Banking Supervision and Examination Department, said a source within the Central Bank who asked to remain anonymous.
The name, nationality and current and previous political positions held by each individual are required by the regulator, as requested in a directive it issued to banks.
After tomorrow, banks will have to seek written permission from the country's monetary authority before they can open accounts on behalf of foreign individuals with political links, or what the central bank describes as "foreign politically exposed persons”.
But the source said the deadline may be flexible as the Central Bank's aim was to maintain open co-operation with banks on the matter. "This move is global good practice and is a step in line with other developed nations,” said a regional chief executive of one UAE bank, who declined to be named.
Eric Milne, the head of banking and finance for the region at the law firm Simmons and Simmons in Dubai, said: "This is entirely in keeping with what the market perceives to be regulators tightening controls across the banking sector, whether it be in wholesale or retail banking.
"There's a move towards tighter regulation generally around the world. It's driven by issues connected with money laundering and whether banks want to be associated with particular individuals.”
"Foreign politically exposed persons” are defined by the Central Bank as individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions in a foreign country, such as heads of state or government, senior politicians, senior government, judicial or military officials, senior executives of state-owned corporations and officials of political parties.
Such officials and executives have attracted close scrutiny from financial authorities around the world.
The US 2001 Patriot Act requires the country's banks to identify and monitor accounts held by senior foreign political figures to ensure funds do not come from corrupt sources.
Under money-laundering legislation in Canada, financial institutions are required to determine if clients are politically exposed foreign persons.
Banks in the UK are advised by the country's joint money-laundering steering group to first determine whether a client is politically exposed, and then secure senior management approval for establishing or continuing business with such individuals. – The National

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UAE and Montenegro sign anti-money laundering MoU


posted on 07/07/2009

The UAE and Montenegro signed yesterday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint cooperation in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The memo was signed following a meeting held by HE Sultan Nasser Al Suweidi, Governor of the UAE Central Bank and Chairman of the National Anti-money Laundering Committee, with a visiting delegation from Montenegro led by Predrag Mitrovic, Director of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering.
Abdulrahim Mohamed Al Awadi, Assistant Executive Director and Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU), UAE Central Bank, and Predrag Mitrovic, Director of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering, Montenegro, inked the memo.
Under the memo, the two countries will exchange financial information regarding money laundering and financing of terrorism and consolidate their policies in that respect.
The UAE apex bank said the conclusion of the memo underlines the UAE's sincere desire to pursue cooperation with the international community in the fight against these two crimes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Central Bank's Board of Directors discusses strategy to counter money laundering


posted on 01/09/2008

The first meeting of the Board of Directors of the UAE Central Bank in the current year discussed its strategy and mechanism to combat money laundering and suspicious transactions. The Board was set up as per the Federal Decree No. 56 (Year 2008) issued on 13th of July this year.
A statement issued by the Central bank said that the meeting of the Board of Directors held recently was presided over by the Chairman of the Board HE Khalil Mohammed Sherif Foulathi, and discussed a number of topics including the country's monetary system. The meeting was attended by Vice Chairman Dr Omar Mohammed Ahmed Bin Sulaiman, Governor H. E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Board members Younis Haji Al Khoori, Mubarak Rashid Al Mansouri, Hilal Khalfan bin Dhahir Al Muhairi, Khalid Mohammed Salem Balama and Deputy Governor Mohammed Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE stands ready to back international anti-money laundering effort


posted on 13/12/2007

The UAE will back international efforts aimed at raising awareness standard about risks posed by money laundering and financing terrorism, a senior UAE banker affirmed on Wednesday.
'In particular, the UAE will encourage the dialogue between the United States and Middle East and North Africa on anti-money laundering and combating financing terrorism (AML-CFT).The UAE believes that a true public-private partnership is the best way to arrive at a full-proof mechanisms and regulations to combat money laundering and terror financing, said Abdul Rahim Mohammed Al Awadi, assistant executive manager of the UAE Central Bank's Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU), in a keynote address to the third US-MENA conference on AML-CFT organised in Dubai today.
The conference was organised by the UAE Central Bank in association with the Union of Arab Banks and US Department of Treasury. To put this system in place, he added, greater, close cooperation between financial, supervisory, regulatory and law enforcement authorities is desperately needed. He UAE banker warned the gathering that international trade could be abused by criminals and terrorists.
Outlining UAE efforts in this respect, he explained that the UAE Central Bank had introduced adequate measures to protect the country banking sectors from money launderers and terror financiers and understood, at the same time, the need for upgrading and updating its systems as per new technology. He unveiled that the UAE will chair the MENA Financial Act Taskforce (FATF) in 2008.
Chairman of the Union of Arab Banks Adnan Yousif said the private sector from MENA, US and international community should play a key role in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, through adopting and enhancing the dialogue to maintain and develop ML/TF fighting tools. Citing a 2007 global anti-money laundering survey conducted by KPMG, he said the amount of money laundered by is in excess of US$1 trillion.
"Almost all countries of MENA have been devoting a great deal of resources on all fronts to strengthen their financial markets' defence against illegal financial activities, including money laundering,” he added. "Today, most countries of the region have in place a robust, coherent framework of international standards, domestic controls and suitable enforcement mechanisms, he continued.
He maintained that "Countries of the region are determined to reduce the pool of criminal funds, and continuing to promote international cooperation and information sharing in money laundering and investigations and actions. He noted that:' 'It is not surprising that no Arab country is placed on the FATF's black list of non-cooperative countries in AML-CFT. Our domestic monetary authorities and financial sectors are very serious about keeping their markets clean and highly defensive against illicit cash'. He went on to say that those authorities were determined to ensure that effective domestic controls are in place. The first conference was held in Cairo in March 2006 and the second was hosted by New York in December 2006. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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UAE freezes suspected terror funds


posted on 09/10/2007

The UAE said yesterday it had frozen 17 bank accounts totalling $1.3 million because of suspected links to terrorism financing. "Some accounts have been frozen in line with UN resolutions,” said Abdulrahim Al Awadi, head of the anti-money laundering unit at the UAE central bank. "They have been referred to a special committee at the United Nations,” he said in Abu Dhabi. Since 2003, the UAE has also required informal money transfer outlets, known as hawala brokers, to register with the central bank. It has approved 246 hawala brokers and is processing the applications of 70 more, Awadi said. (Reuters)

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National Anti-Money laundering Committee ends European tour


posted on 22/07/2007

The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, ended its tour of Europe yesterday after holding a meeting in London with British officials. The tour, which aimed at sharing experience and expertise on the best way to combat money laundering and terror finance, took the delegation to Madrid, Lisbon, Paris before rounding it off with the London visit.
The committee, led by its chairman, Sultan bin Nasir Al Suwaidi, Central Bank Governor, met with a number of British senior officials, including Bank of England's Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, Sir John Gieve.
During the meeting, the committee sensitised itself with the British system of combating money laundering and terror finance. The two sides discussed ways to boost cooperation in the area of banking and training.UAE Ambassador, Esa Saleh Al Gurg, held a luncheon in honour of Al Suwaidi and his accompanying delegation. The tour reflects the UAE's serious approach to the issue of combating money laundering and terror finance. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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UAE, Spain discuss anti-money laundering cooperation


posted on 13/07/2007

The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, headed by its chairman, Sultan bin Nasir Al Suwaidi, Central Bank Governor, met with a number of Spanish officials, including Spain's Central Bank Governor, minister of state for trade and tourism affairs officials of the Financial Information Unit, the Spanish justice ministry, the interior ministry, the Treasury ministry and representatives of three major Spanish banks.
During the meetings which were held in the presence of UAE Ambassador to Spain, Mohammed Al Qirtasi, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to continuous cooperation between them in the areas of banking through the exchange of high-level delegation visits. They also agreed to boost cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terror finance.
The delegation, which is on tour of a number of European countries, arrived in Madrid on Tuesday, its second stop before flying out to Lisbon, Paris and London to hold similar talks with officials of those countries. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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Money Laundering Committee visits Italy


posted on 11/07/2007

The delegation of the national committee for anti-money laundering headed by Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of UAE Central Bank is visiting Italy as part of wide visit to European countries . The delegation met today with the Deputy Governor of the Italian Central Bank and other officials from the Ministries of Finance and Economy. In a press release yesterday ,the Central Bank told that the meeting had stressed on coordination with Italian related authorities through signing agreements to exchange information and training to counter money laundering. The delegation will visit also Spain, Portugal, France and UK for the same purpose. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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UAE Anti-Money Laundering Committee leaves for Europe tour


posted on 09/07/2007

A delegation from the UAE Anti-Money Laundering Committee, headed by its chairman, Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, who is also the UAE Central Bank Governor, left Abu Dhabi yesterday to Rome at the beginning of a tour of Europe which will also take them to Spain, Portugal, France and Britain.
A statement issued today by the Central Bank said the tour was part of the interaction and sharing of experience on the combating of money laundering and terror finance, adding that it also seeks to provide opportunity for meeting with the authorities of those countries to map up common strategy to combat money laundering and terror finance.
The statement said the tour also reflects the UAE's serious approach to the issue of money laundering and terror finance, adding that the tour was very important as it would provide the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with authorities of friendly countries to reach common agreement and find common mechanisms of cooperation to face finance-related crimes which, in most cases, are internationally connected. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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No Hawala operators involved in money laundering case


posted on 04/03/2007

The Central Bank Governor Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi said yesterday that no Hawala operators were involved in the money laundering racket, recently arrested by Dubai Police. "The arrested gang members are not licensed Hawala operators," Al Suweidi said in a press conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

He declined to give details about the amounts in question or whether any one from the banking sector is involved in the case, saying that investigations were still on.

Last week, Dubaii Police launched a crackdown on some companies suspected of being engaged in money laundering activities. The UAE Central Bank has issued instructions to banks and money exchangers to freeze the accounts of the main suspects and nine firms allegedly involved in the scam. "Money laundering is a global problem that should be addressed globally," Al Suweidi said. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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UAE Central Bank freezes hawala operators' accounts


posted on 26/02/2007

The UAE Central Bank has issued a notice to all banks and money exchange houses instructing them to freeze accounts of hawala operators and those involved in money laundering, a statement said. The move comes as Dubai Police launched a major crackdown on hawala operators last week resulting in a number of arrests in downtown Dubai, officials said.

"The UAE Central Bank, in view of the reports received from Dubai Police General Headquarters, issued a notice to all banks and moneychangers, operating in the country instructing them to freeze the accounts of the main suspects, those who assisted them as well as the nine companies involved in the case," a Dubai Police statement said yesterday. "In addition, all transfers in the said names were also prohibited."

Market officials said police have shut down a number of offices used by hawala operators and confiscated large sums of hard currency from operators.

"Police officials have rounded up a number of hawala operators from their offices in downtown Deira and shut their operations near the Gold Souq and Murshid Bazaar - Dubai's major wholesale market, forcing others to go underground," an official told Gulf News.

Dubai has been used by currency traders from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, among others, as a transit point. While some operators move currency to legalise their clients' black money, others use the currency for trading, finance banks' letters of credit and money laundering.

Millions of dollars are transferred electronically among operators in Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong for these purposes. The UAE Central Bank has remained vigilant in combating money laundering and financial crimes, the statement said.

"As a result of the common coordination between Dubai Police and the UAE Central Bank's Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit, over a period of almost a year and a half, we have taken measures to detect those operations through the commercial and financial activities, carried out by the suspects," the statement said. Dubai Police are preparing to finalise a detailed report on the issue to take legal measures.

"The above measures fall within the firm policy framework of the UAE in combating financial crimes, including money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as the country's determination to support international efforts in this regard." (Gulf News)

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UAE-UK sing Anti-Money Laundering MoU


posted on 21/03/2006

The UAE and the UK have signed a memorandum of understanding intended to enhance exchange of financial information related to money laundering and terrorist financing. The MoU was signed yesterday at the UAE Central Bank between Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit at the Central Bank, and the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency.

The MoU provides for mutual cooperation regarding financial information related to money laundering and terrorist financing. It was signed in the presence of UAE Central Bank Governor Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, UK Ambassador Richard Makepeace, and participants in the UAE-UK joint seminar on anti-money laundering which concluded yesterday at the Central Bank. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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UAE-UK Money Laundering seminar wraps up


posted on 20/03/2006

The UAE and the UK have voiced their resolve to cooperate in combating money-related crimes. At a two-day seminar that wound up at the Central Bank in Abu Dhabi yesterday, UAE and British officials expressed determination to "build up a systematic framework for cooperation in curbing money laundering, terrorism financing, and other money-related crimes." Mechanisms for upgrading the existing systems based on both countries' accumulated experience were also discussed.

Interrogation methods pursued in countering money laundering and terrorism financing operations received focused attention. Participants called for more emphasis on the networks that support the flow of crime money, rather than merely targeting individual agents.

During the seminar, a memorandum of understanding was signed between anti-money laundering and financial intelligence authorities in both countries, for enhancing cooperation in these areas. At the inaugural session, Central Bank Governor had voiced a strong commitment by the UAE to update its legislations and practical measures to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and monetary crimes.

Governor Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi also said the UAE was determined to cooperate in this regard with friendly countries and the international community. Al Suwaidi said the UAE was keen on exposing banking, finance and law-enforcement personnel to continuous training on money laundering countermeasures. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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UAE committed to update money laundering legislations: Al Suwaidi


posted on 19/03/2006

Central Bank Governor has voiced a strong commitment by the UAE to update its legislations and practical measures to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and monetary crimes.

Governor Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi also said the UAE was determined to cooperate in this regard with friendly countries and the international community.

Al Suwaidi made these remarks when he opened yesterday a UAE-UK joint seminar on money laundering. "This seminar reflects the determination of the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom to combat money-related crimes, including laundering and financing of terrorism, and their unyielding effort to strengthen their legal, control and institutional set-up to tackle such threats".

"The holding of the seminar also testifies to the two countries' willingness to exchange expertise, technology, and best practices", he remarked.

The Governor announced that the two countries were considering signing a memorandum of understanding that would set the framework for enhanced bilateral cooperation on exchange of monetary information related to money laundering and terrorism financing. These measures, he noted, were in response to the 40 recommendations on anti-money laundering and the nine recommendations on terrorism, adopted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Al Suwaidi said the UAE was keen on exposing banking, finance and law-enforcement personnel to continuous training on money laundering countermeasures. "We accord paramount attention to fostering close coordination between the financial institutions and the competent authorities. The National Committee on Combating Money Laundering plays an instrumental role in this respect," he added.

A large number of executives of banks, money exchanges, financial instructions, and other concerned government authorities are taking part in the two-day seminar to gain first hand exposure to the UK expertise in this area. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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British Ambassador lauds UAE money laundering measures


posted on 19/03/2006

UK Ambassador Richard Makepeace has praised the UAE legislative and practical measures to combat money laundering and monetary crimes. The Ambassador said the UAE existing laws on money were effective in tackling the problems of money laundering and monetary crimes.

"The existence of these laws reflect the high importance the UAE attaches to the issues of money laundering, terrorism and the various monetary crimes", he told WAM on the sidelines of a seminar organised today at the Central Bank. The Ambassador hailed UAE's cooperation and coordination with regional and international organisations and with other countries, and its endeavour to upgrade its legal systems and adopt state-of-the-art technology. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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UAE and Canada plan action against money laundering


posted on 21/09/2005

The UAE and Canada may join forces to curb money laundering after senior financial experts from both countries met recently in Ottawa, a Canadian minister said. The UAE delegation, headed by Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of the Central Bank and Chairman of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, met Canadian Central Bank and Fintrack officials.

"The Governor said he had excellent discussions and (the UAE) is looking at means of further cooperation in the future," James Petersen, Canadian Minister of International Trade, told Gulf News on Monday. Canada has formed an institution to combat money laundering called Fintrack (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre). Financial institutions and all providers of financial services are required to report certain transactions to this body. It analyses the reports for links to money laundering or terrorist-financing activities.

In March, the UAE announced at a GCC-European Union seminar on combating terrorism that it had frozen 17 suspicious bank accounts totalling Dh4.95 million. The UAE has the region's first anti-money laundering body with over 100 specialists.

Petersen also said that he looked forward to Etihad's inaugural flight to Toronto. He said good transportation was the key to increasing tourism and business and hoped that there would be six weekly flights as agreed upon. (The Gulf News)

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UAE renews commitment to combat all forms of crimes


posted on 20/04/2005

The UAE yesterday reiterated its commitment to combating all forms of crimes and pledged to fully implement relevant international conventions. Addressing the 11th Conference of the United Nations for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Abdul Rahim Yousif Al Awadi , Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs , said that the UAE had gone a long way in implementing international conventions to which it is a signatory.

"The UAE has issued stringent legislation criminalizing money laundering, terrorism, cyber crimes and all forms of other crimes,” said Al Awadi. He pointed out that the UAE has set an example worth emulating in combating cyber crimes, noting that the UAE cabinet recently passed the cyber crimes law and will be issued soon.

"This law complements the anti-money laundry law issued earlier,” he said. Al Awadi told the conference that the UAE made several initiatives to beef up anti-terror measures, particularly in the area of terror financing by organizing three conferences on alternative transfer system or Hawala. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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