Saint Petersburg: A delegation consisting of officials from the Central Bank of the UAE and Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU) made a successful participation in the 20th Egmont Group Plenary session as well as its working groups meetings and other events held in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation .
The delegation was sent as per the directives of Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of Central Bank of the UAE and Chairman of National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC), and was headed by Abdulrahim Mohamed Al Awadi, Executive Director, Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU).
UAE has played an active role and attended regularly all the meetings and events of the Egmont Group since being admitted as a member in June 2002, the first Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in the Middle East ‘&’ North Africa (MENA) region to be a member of the Group.
At this 20th Plenary four new members were admitted and the total membership reached 131 FIUs.
The UAE delegation participated in Working Group Meetings, Heads of FIUs meeting, Plenary session and other events of the Egmont Group including training sessions. Discussions were made on increased coordination and support among the 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 FIUs of Republic of Kazakhstan ‘&’ Ukraine. The signing of the MOU would facilitate exchanging information in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing and exchanging of expertise and experience on AML/CFT.
With the signing of the above two MOU’s, the total number of MOUs signed by the UAE FIU reached 40.
The UAE delegation also held bilateral meetings on the fringes of the Egmont Group events with the delegations of Russian Federation, United States of America, Japan, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, India, Cyprus, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Greece, Switzerland, Canada and Luxembourg.
During these meetings UAE and the 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.
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, following up on the degree of cooperation with the respective FIUs also featured discussions.
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, said a release from CBUAE.