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Regional body adopts Abu Dhabi recommendations on best practices in combating money laundering – News

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The recommendations include 24 commitments by member states to strengthen regional efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism


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Attend the MENAFATF Typology and Capacity Building Workshop in Abu Dhabi. – Wow

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published: Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 10:28 pm

MENAFATF is a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body that has adopted Abu Dhabi’s recommendations on regional best practices in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Abu Dhabi proposal includes 24 best practice commitments made by MENAFATF member countries to strengthen regional efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The recommendations were reached at the conclusion of the MENAFATF Workshop on Typology and Capacity Building under the patronage of Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan , which is chaired by the Higher Committee responsible for overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, is hosted by the UAE Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (EO AML/CTF) in Abu Dhabi.

EO AML/CTF Director General Hamid Al Zaabi applauded the MENAFATF plenary for adopting the Abu Dhabi proposal, adding that it was an important step forward in the adoption of best practice in the region. He explained: “The MENAFATF Typology and Capacity Building Workshop 2023 in the UAE provides a powerful platform for sharing new typologies and updating existing ones, while facilitating the exchange of best practices. Participants from 21 countries With more than 100 participants from /regions that make up MENAFATF, as well as observers and representatives from other FATF-like regional bodies (FSRBs) and international organizations, the workshop brought together some of the best minds in the fight against financial crime.

“Abu Dhabi’s recommendations are a valuable outcome of these discussions and create a valuable tool for raising standards through effective international cooperation. They reflect the UAE’s strong commitment to adopting best practices in the MENA region to combat money laundering and terrorist financing ,’ he added.

Suliman Al Jabrin, Executive Secretary of MENAFATF, said regional harmonization of best practice has created a shared set of standards that strengthens member countries’ national AML/CFT systems. He added: “I am delighted that the 24 recommendations presented by MENAFATF members in Abu Dhabi cover a range of the most pressing issues we face today. The list includes virtual assets (VA), types of ML, public-private partnerships are the right partners relationships, regional assessments and ways to expand cooperation. The MENA region plays an important role in the global economy and Abu Dhabi’s proposal sends a strong signal to our international partners that we are a region without financial Where crime has its foothold. The world.”

The Abu Dhabi proposal includes the following best practice commitments by MENAFATF member countries:

1. Establish a committee or working group dedicated to public-private partnerships to strengthen the AML/CFT system.

2. Establish a clear legal framework for the exchange of information between the public and private sectors.

3. Encourage the use of methods and models proposed by Member States relevant to combating ML/TF crimes.

4. Member States are urged to participate in the regional assessment of ML/TF risks in the MENA region.

5. Prioritize asset recovery in accordance with international standards and strengthen cooperation among MENAFATF members in this field.

6. Efforts to improve the transparency of legal persons, including the issue of ultimate beneficial ownership.

7. Strengthen the use of electronic payment methods by non-profit organizations in their activities to limit their abuse in TF.

8. States are urged to continue to raise awareness of non-profit organizations and issue guidance to help them prevent misuse of trust funds.

9. States are urged to continue to track the identification of subgroups falling within the FATF definition, taking into account emerging threats and allocating regulatory resources in accordance with a risk-based approach consistent with UNSCR 2462.

10. Urge NPOs to raise awareness among partners, intermediaries or representatives to ensure they are not misused for TF during project implementation.

11. Ensure that measures to mitigate TF risks do not prevent the nonprofit from achieving its goals.

12. Strengthen MENAFATF countries’ understanding of the requirements of Recommendation 15, including sectoral risk assessment for VA, given the rapid developments in this field.

13. Urges States to work with competent authorities to build capacity in the area of ​​virtual assets, particularly with regard to the regulation, control, investigation and management of seized and confiscated assets and their use to evade sanctions.

14. Collaborate with the private sector to continue adopting new technologies to reduce VA risk.

15. Strengthen national cooperation between competent authorities on follow-up on issues related to voluntary agreements and urge the use of best practices such as dedicated working groups (Working Groups).

16. Urge MENAFATF countries to follow up on publications issued by international organizations such as FATF as well as UN Monitoring Group, which include the most important techniques, indicators and methodologies for ML/TF through VAs.

17. Urges countries to complete or initiate sectoral assessments of DNFBPs, and emphasizes the need to allocate regulatory resources to sectors with the highest risk.

18. Strengthen the legislative and regulatory framework relevant to the DNFBPs industry.

19. Refer to the UAE’s experience in regulating the DNFBPs sector as a practical model for compliance with FATF standards.

20. Stressed the importance of Member States strengthening procedures for identifying BOs in accordance with the latest amendments to FATF.

21. Building on the experience of Member States and FSRB Member States in the areas of human trafficking, migrant smuggling and illegal wildlife trafficking.

22. Raise Member States’ awareness of the risks of cybercrime, in particular ransomware and related payment methods, especially virtual currencies.

23. Learn from the methods, models and indicators of other FSRB member countries on corruption and drug trafficking offences.

24. Study the impact of environmental crime in the Middle East and North Africa region and the associated money-laundering risks, and consider establishing dedicated public and private sector task forces in relevant countries to address these risks.

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