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Money laundering, terror finance in focus at Dubai conference

December 22
03:50 2014

Money laundering, terror finance in focus at Dubai conferenceDUBAI: Financial experts from around the world have suggested new ways to check money laundering and frauds through transaction screening, real time monitoring, pattern analysis and mandatory reporting of grey transactions.

The aim of the conference, organized here by the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG) last week, was to discuss new and sophisticated Anti Money Laundering (AML) measures, set out best practices to combat frauds and highlight new risks and fraudulent methods being discovered in the industry.

The group recommended that financial institutions should develop a compliance program to meet AML laws and monitor every payment routed through their systems to counter fraud.

“FERG advocates the transfer of money globally through channels that are secure, transparent and governed by strict Anti-Money Laundering regulations as posited by the Central Bank of the UAE,” FERG Chairman Osama Al Rahma said.

The discussion highlighted the possibility of ‘smurfing’, whereby large transactions are restructured into smaller ones that don’t draw attention.

The possibility of money mules – people recruited to transfer stolen money across national borders – was also discussed.

According to the FERG member – Al Rostamani International Exchange – proper controls such as transaction screening, real time monitoring and pattern analysis should be in place to detect any suspicious transactions and report the same to the regulatory authority.

As a mandatory requirement the entire log of daily transactions should be uploaded to the UAE Central Bank at the end of each day for their review, it added.

The conference stressed on the need for financial institutions to develop and implement a compliance program to meet AML laws and standards including reporting, record keeping and client identification obligations.

It also stressed on the necessity for all exchange houses to deploy AML compliance vested software to monitor every payment instructions routed through their system.

Attendees at the AML conference also discussed the importance of vigilance, staff training and regular auditing to discover irregularities.

UAE Exchange, also a FERG member, pointed out the importance of combating fraud across all sectors and released the findings of a recent research done by the exchange house which showed that a financial organization typically loses 5 per cent of revenue a year due to fraud alone.

Arablink Money transfer contributed to the gathering by offering a checklist of compliance and best practices that have been proven to reduce instances of money laundering. –PTI

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