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.