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Bank Muscat conference on Fighting Financial Crimes highlights new challenges

​MUSCAT, 11 November 2013 - A 2-day conference on 'Fighting Financial Crimes' hosted for the second year running by Bank Muscat and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) got off to a fine start on Monday (11 November 2013) at the bank's head office. H.E. Shaikh AbdulMalik bin Abdullah al Khalili, Minister of Justice, was the guest of honour at the conference attended by Shaikh Khalid bin Mustahail Al Mashani, Chairman of Bank Muscat, Major General Hamad bin Sulaiman Al Hatmi, Assistant Inspector General of Police and Customs for Operations - ROP, and a large turnout of senior representatives from the ROP, Central Bank of Oman (CBO), Capital Market Authority (CMA), corporates, banking establishments and media.

H.E. Shaikh AbdulMalik bin Abdullah al Khalili said: “We congratulate the joints efforts by Bank Muscat and the ROP in turning the spotlight on financial crimes which are affecting individuals, institutions as well as the country and have a negative impact on the entire economic and social system through considerable financial and reputational damage. Incorporating the best global practices, the Sultanate of Oman has adopted a proper system to check the spread of financial fraud in all arenas. Cooperation among institutions is the key to address financial crimes. We emphasise the importance of continued cooperation and coordination between the ROP, the CBO and financial institutions to address such issues."

H.E. Shaikh AbdulMalik added: “In view of the shifting trends in financial crimes that have become a global phenomenon, posing a big challenge to regulatory authorities around the world, it is important for the private sector to collaborate and control financial crimes and complement government efforts aimed at achieving financial stability and security in the country. We look forward to valuable recommendations from the conference to address issues related to financial crimes in Oman."

Shaikh Khalid bin Mustahail Al Mashani said: “Bank Muscat is gratified to host the Fighting Financial Crimes conference as part of its commitment to initiatives aimed at contributing to the progress and development of Oman. We thank H.E. Shaikh AbdulMalik bin Abdullah al Khalili for gracing the occasion as the guest of honour. The economic fallout of financial crimes is a major concern for nations and we hope the conference deliberations will help organisations in the Sultanate to support the government in reducing financial crimes."

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of Bank Muscat, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to join hands with the Directorate General of Inquires & Criminal Investigation of the ROP for the second year running and host the Fighting Financial Crimes conference. At a time when financial crimes are widespread around the world, the strengthening of cooperation and coordination among various government, banking and financial institutions is vital to prevent and control crimes through the latest technological applications and exchange of expertise in this area. The ROP has taken a lead in this regard and we are thankful to them for their support in organising this conference. We also thank the participating government and private sector entities and their contributions to make the conference a success."

The conference agenda focused on specific crimes affecting the public, including card fraud, mobile phone scams and cyber crime, which are becoming prevalent. Experts and key officials representing the ROP as well as relevant organisations shared their experiences through case study presentations with valuable tips on preventing fraud.

Brigadier Rashid bin Salim Al Badi, Director General of Inquires & Criminal Investigation, Royal Oman Police, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the role and responsibilities of the ROP in fighting financial crimes. Brigadier Rashid bin Salim Al Badi said: “The role of technology in modern financial crimes poses serious challenges which can be countered through proper training and coordination among the government and private sector entities. We must be up-to-date with technological solutions to fight financial crimes."

Said Mohammed Al Maqbali, ITCD Manager at the Public Prosecution, made a presentation on 'Difficulties in handling IT cases'.

Dr. Hussain Al Ghafri, Legal Consultant at the Information Technology

Authority, made a presentation on 'How to handle cyber crime'.

In another presentation on 'Bank fraud – Staff and insiders', Gary Bauer, MD Forensic Services – Protiviti, highlighted the need for organisations to remain vigilant to check financial fraud.

Lucas Pitts, Partner (Dubai) and Abdullah Mutawi, Partner (Head of UAE) – Trowers & Hamlins, made a presentation on 'The International Banking Corporation: A case study of the region's biggest financial collapse caused by financial crime'.

Offering a valuable networking opportunity, the conference seeks to enhance cooperation between the government and the private sector in matters relating to preventing financial crimes, identifying the best global practices in work environment, and benefiting from the expertise of relevant bodies. The conference concludes on Tuesday (12 November).