UAE financial firms to register on new platform or face penalties
A new reporting platform that will help facilitate law enforcement authorities in the receipt, analysis and dissemination of suspicious transactions, including money laundering, has been launched in the UAE.
The UAE Central Bank's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) announced on Sunday (June 23) that it has launched the new anti-money laundering platform, called (goAML), to gather and analyse intelligence submitted by reporting entities, which is then analysed and disseminated to law enforcement authorities when deemed necessary.
The goAML system, the first platform to go live in the GCC, was developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to help in combating both money laundering and financing of terrorism - locally and internationally.
All financial institutions in the UAE must register on the new platform by June 27, 2019 to avoid penalties, officials said at a press conference held in Abu Dhabi.
More than 900 entities including banks, money exchange firms, finance companies, insurance brokers, law enforcement entities and others are required to register on goAML platform and so far 50 percent of these firms have registered since May this year.
"The platform will act as an integral part of the FIU by elevating its IT structure, strengthening a country-wide cooperation against criminal activity," said Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, Governor of the UAE Central Bank and Chairperson of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations Committee.
"This will also help us better observe trends when analysing suspicious transactions, helping eliminate potential threats more efficiently".
The goAML platform, a fully integrated software solution, was specifically customised to commensurate with the requirements of the UAE's anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing framework and key stakeholders.
Ali Ba'Alawi, Acting Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit said: "It is mandatory for all financial institutions in the country to register for the new system and so far 50 percent of the entities have registered on the new system.
"The goAML provides the necessary infrastructure to allow the FIU to build a customised module to connect various intelligence databases, enriching the level of intelligence and identifying complex and possible organised criminal activities. The FIU aims to ensure an overall safer community by preventing money laundering, financing of terrorism and any other illicit financial activity."
He added: "The FIU being the central repository of financial intelligence in the UAE, will exchange intelligence with the relevant stakeholders domestically through the goAML, hence enhancing the UAE's national coordination.
According to Ba'Alawi, the new platform will promote international cooperation especially by increasing the quality of reports on suspicious transactions and will witness an increased level of coordination as a result of the effective and user-friendly nature of the goAML platform.
Judge Hatem Fouad Aly, Regional Representative of UNODC said: "The UNODC works in partnership with the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee and alongside several government entities, including the FIU, to aid in the development of essential programmes such as the goAML."
"The platform was developed by UNODC as a strategic response against financial crime, as advised by the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. It is a one-stop, fully integrated solution that meets the IT needs of most FIUs, with the primary objective of enhancing the capacity of Member States to detect financial crime and to meet international standards relating to money laundering and terrorist financing".