EOCN and UNOCT held a workshop on asset freezing and sanctions evasion

Send to mail

Dubai, May 31, 2022 / The Executive Office for Control and Non-Proliferation (EOCN) and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) held a workshop on asset freezing and sanctions evasion in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1373. This is part of a series of seminars organized by EOCN for the sake of sharing experience and raising awareness among all regulatory and supervisory bodies, law enforcement agencies and private sector, to effectively implement Security Council resolutions related to terrorism and its financing, and freeze funds and assets belonging to terrorists and terrorist organizations without delay.

"Our meeting today represents an opportunity to learn about best practices for implementing targeted financial sanctions, particularly the process of freezing funds and assets without delay, combating the methods and techniques used by criminals to avoid sanctions, and finding viable and effective solutions to the challenges that the private sector may encounter, in order to effectively put financial sanctions into effect," said H.E. Talal Al-Teneiji, EOCN Director, in his speech at the opening of the workshop.

H.E. Al-Teneiji has also stressed the importance of national cooperation and sharing financial information, as a key pillar for combating all financial offences, particularly terrorism financing crimes. Al-Teneiji has emphasized that establishing partnership between public and private sectors along with  holding regular meetings will result in enhancing the effectiveness of denying terrorists access to funds and assets to support terrorist activities. H.E. has also praised the leading efforts of the UAE in the region in establishing a specialized committee for dialogue with the private sector, represented by financial sectors and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions. This is to consider how to develop information-sharing mechanism and to listen to private sector perspectives to promote the effectiveness of combating crimes, including terrorist financing offences.

For her part, H.E. Frans Luminer, Head of Counter-Terrorist Financing Department at the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, stressed that:

"The current workshop is held within the framework of cooperation with the EOCN  to raise awareness and build capacity in the field of effective implementation of Security Council resolutions, particularly Security Council Resolution 1373, and to identify the best means adopted to investigate and track funds belonging to terrorists and terrorist organizations, as the financing of terrorism has become a key priority for international community in its endeavors to prevent terrorists from accessing, transferring or using any financial resources to support terrorist financing activities and to dispel their plans to prepare for terrorist acts and to train and recruit terrorist fighters."

The workshop has addressed several topics, including presenting the requirements for Resolution 1373 in terms of freezing assets without delay, the foundations and criteria for the inclusion of terrorists and terrorist entities on local lists, as well as the importance of international cooperation and information sharing to reduce the risk of terrorist financing. This is besides meeting the obligations contained in the international standards issued by The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for the implementation of Security Council resolutions, as well as the challenges faced by States at the regional level to freeze funds and assets belonging to terrorists or terrorist organizations without delay.

The Executive Office of Control and Non-Proliferation also presented the electronic tools and systems used for national cooperation and information sharing among all local stakeholders to ensure that terrorist funds are effectively tracked, frozen and confiscated. This is besides the efforts exerted by the UAE to identify and detect terrorist methods and techniques of evading sanctions.

The workshop sessions lasted for two days and was attended by international experts from the United Nations, the Secretariat of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) and the European Union, as well as experts from the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa. A number of specialists and experts from federal agencies, government institutions, financial institutions, and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions also took part in the workshop.