Complex Made Simple

FERG partners with Dubai Police

First of its kind social initiative to stamp out money remittance crimes.

As part of Dubai Police’s social partnership, and under the guidance of Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police and direct supervision of Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant to Dubai Police Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, a first of its kind social initiative has been held between the Dubai Police and the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group(FERG) to combat crimes related to money remittances in the UAE.

Taking place at the Shangri La Hotel on the Sheikh Zayed Road, the exclusive joint training session was held in the presence of key officials from the Dubai Police and senior members from FERG.

Colonel Salem Khalifa Al Rumaithi, Deputy Director of the CID; Major Adil Al Joker from the CID; Lieutenant Colonel SalimObaid from the Cyber Crime Department; and Colonel Abdul Rahim from Organized Crime and Money Laundering department; were part of the Dubai Police delegation imparting the training.

“We are grateful to the wise leadership of the UAE and to the police forces for their essential role in securing a safe and stable environment for businesses, investments and attracting talents to the country. FERG is committed to a transparentand innovative exchange and remittance sector in the UAE, and this training initiative offers powerful tools for all our members to identify and monitor transactions that might have risks associated with them,” said FERG Chairman Mr Osama Al Rahma.

Al Rahma praised the role of Dubai Police and hinted on the important role that the nationals and residents of the UAE should play to support this secure environment for both investments and tourism. He also highlighted the importance of such an initiative through its focus on direct training of the exchange houses employees to combat crimes before they happen. Moreover, Al Rahmawas keen to advocate for collaboration and open communication between exchange houses as well as public sector partners such as the Dubai Police. He expressed his strong belief that such training sessions set a valuable precedent for further and closer collaboration.

The training focused on identifying criminal behaviour and counterfeit currencies at the exchange counter, and examined common cyber crime categories. Dubai Police officials also imparted strategies on reducing and mitigating risk.

Major Al Joker spoke on plans of attack most frequently used by criminals against exchange houses. “These can range from indirect approaches to direct physical crimes. Staff awareness must be raised to prevent such attacks, or take necessary safe action, in such an event,” he said.

Colonel Abdul Rahim delivered a session focusing on the laws of money laundering combat including the Union law number 9 for 2014.

“Exchange houses can train front employees to empower them to identify suspicious behaviour or counterfeit notes, and profile transactions accordingly. Risk needs to be taken into account – for instance the nature of the transaction, the political risks of the country the transaction is being directed at, the global profile of the customer undertaking the transaction, and the distribution channel being used,” he noted.

Lieutenant Colonel Salim Obaid highlighted risks posed by malicious software and hardware, such as ‘Game Over Zeus’ (GOZ) – a botnet that can distribute ransom ware or software for financial fraud.
Officer Ali Abdul Kareem, the official liaison between FERG and the Dubai Police, as appointed by the CID, lauded such channels of cooperation.

“Collaborating with the financial sector and organisations like FERG is an excellent step that will result in economic benefit and transparency that exceeds global standards,” he said.

The training is part of FERG’s remit to create a robust remittance and exchange industry in the UAE that advocates the transfer of money through official channels, and takes a risk-based approach to transactions. The move also dovetails with FERG’s mission to tackling fraud and unethical practices in the remittance industry by establishing transparent standard operating procedures.