The UAE has become the first country in the Gulf to launch a new reporting platform developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, to curb organised crimes.
The UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU, launched the new anti-money laundering platform 'goAML' , which has been open for registration since May, officials of the UAE Central Bank, CBUAE, announced on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.
All financial entities and Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions (DNFBPs) have to register on this system by 27th June, they said at a press conference convened at the CBUAE headquarters.
More than 900 entities including, banks, insurance companies and money exchange centres, are required to register on the platform and 50 percent of them have already registered.
The platform will help the FIU prevent money laundering, financing of terrorism and other illicit financial activities, they said.
The FIU, the central repository of financial intelligence in the UAE, will use the platform to gather and analyse intelligence submitted by reporting entities, which is then analysed and disseminated to law enforcement authorities.
Commenting on the launch of ‘goAML’, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, Governor of the CBUAE and Chairperson of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations Committee, said, "Our objective has always been to provide support for UAE’s financial institutions in line with global standards. The platform will act as an integral part of the FIU by elevating its IT infrastructure, strengthening a countrywide cooperation against criminal activity."
Saif Al Shamsi, Deputy Governor of the CBUAE, said the milestone step of launching the platform is a further testament to the UAE’s commitment to the international community.
Ali Faisal Ba'Alawi, Acting Head of the FIU, said entities do not have any expenses for the registration on the system. "They have to spend some time and efforts to upload the necessary data on the system; that is their only cost!" Ba'Alawi explained.
Judge Hatem Fouad Aly, UNODC Representative for GCC Region, said the data collected by ‘goAML’ are not shared with the UN. "The UN just facilitates member countries to set up such platforms. The information is handled by the relevant country itself," he said.
"Now criminals will fear the UAE in general, and its FIU in particular," thanks to the strong arm of the platform that will check their nefarious designs, Aly added.
The UNODC-developed platform was specifically customised to meet the requirements of the UAE’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, AML/CFT, framework and key stakeholders, he said.