UAE Hosts 29th Annual Egmont Group Plenary to Enhance Financial Intelligence Operations

UAE Hosts 29th Annual Egmont Group Plenary to Enhance Financial Intelligence Operations

Central Bank of the UAE inaugurates international conference on advanced IT technologies for combating money laundering and terrorism financing

Abu Dhabi- Under the esteemed patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the 29th annual Egmont Group Plenary commenced in Abu Dhabi. The event was inaugurated by Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE and Chairman of the UAE National Anti Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations Committee, and attended by Xolisile Khanyile, Chair of the Egmont Group.

This year’s Egmont Group Plenary, organized by the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), focuses on the theme of “Use of Advanced IT Technologies by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) to Enhance their Operations.”

Distinguished attendees included Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice; Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; Younis Khoury, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance; Hamid Saif Al Zaabi, Director-General of the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing; and Ali Faisal Ba’alawi, Head of the UAE FIU, along with several other senior representatives from local and international entities. The conference also welcomed over 500 representatives from various global organizations within the anti-money laundering field.

In his opening speech, Khaled Mohamed Balama highlighted the UAE’s comprehensive national-level efforts in anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). He emphasized that these efforts align with the vision of the UAE’s leadership and adhere to the directives of the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. Balama stressed the importance of utilizing modern technology to facilitate reporting of suspicious transactions, enhance communication, expedite procedures, and make informed decisions. He emphasized the UAE’s commitment to international cooperation in the fight against financial crimes, which has garnered recognition from esteemed international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF).

Xolisile Khanyile, Chair of the Egmont Group, expressed gratitude to the UAE for hosting the annual Egmont Group Plenary. Khanyile acknowledged the event’s pivotal role in promoting international cooperation and intelligence sharing to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The conference facilitated fruitful conversations and diverse perspectives aimed at enhancing effectiveness in the AML/CFT community. Khanyile emphasized the need to adopt and integrate digital technologies to increase information sharing among Financial Intelligence Units worldwide, with the Egmont Group committed to supporting enhanced collaboration.

Ali Faisal Ba’alawi, Head of the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit, highlighted the Egmont Group’s crucial role in connecting FIUs and promoting their shared objectives in AML/CFT efforts. He reaffirmed the UAE’s dedication to supporting these goals through strategic measures aimed at strengthening the AML/CFT framework and enhancing cooperation with other countries.

The Egmont Group Plenary featured a series of discussions on various topics, including the use of privacy-enhancing technologies for FIUs, the use of artificial intelligence to enhance FIU operations and foster collaboration, and the utilization of blockchain technology to enhance FIU operations. These discussions were moderated by experts in the respective fields.

The UAE’s hosting of the Egmont Group Plenary aligns with the

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