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Bank muscat conference highlights alarming trends in financial crimes

MUSCAT, 2 October 2012 - A conference on financial crimes hosted by bank muscat in collaboration with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) got off to a fine start on Tuesday (2 October 2012) at the bank’s head office. A large turnout of senior representatives from the ROP, Central Bank of Oman, Capital Market Authority, corporates, banking establishments and media attended the conference which focused on spreading awareness on alarming trends in financial crimes such as electronic crimes and money laundering and the widespread usage of forged credit cards globally.

The initiative comes as part of efforts aimed at complementing efforts by the government and the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) in spreading awareness on financial crimes through proper coordination among different government and private sectors establishments.

Major General Salim bin Musallam Qatan, Assistant Inspector General of Police and Customs, who presided at the 2-day conference, said: “Organised criminal networks with expertise, especially in cyber fraud, are behind major financial crimes. Cooperation among institutions is the key to address financial crimes. The conference coincides with an alarming situation in the Sultanate as financial crimes are on the rise. We emphasise the importance of continued cooperation and coordination between the ROP, the CBO and financial institutions to address such issues. We look forward to valuable recommendations from the conference to address issues related to financial crimes in Oman.”

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of bank muscat, said: “We are proud to organise this conference which comes at a time when financial crimes are widespread around the world, which requires the strengthening of cooperation and coordination among various government, banking and financial institutions 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.”

AbdulRazak Ali Issa added: “In view of the shifting trends in financial crimes that have become a global phenomenon involving risks to regulatory authorities around the world, besides financial and reputational risks to companies and institutions, it is important for all of us in the private sector to collaborate to control financial crimes and complement government efforts aimed at achieving financial stability and security in the country. The conference assumes importance in view of the major economic fallout of financial crimes and we hope the conference will help organisations in the Sultanate to support the government in reducing financial crimes. We are confident that this conference will contribute to strengthening of cooperation among institutions and exchange of valuable ideas.”

Brigadier Abdullah bin Ali Al Harthy, Director-General of Criminal Investigations, made a presentation on the role and responsibilities of the Royal Oman Police in fighting financial crimes. “Oman is steadily moving towards e-Government, which has resulted in financial crimes shifting towards cyber crimes. The financial sector is becoming more and more dependent on cyber connectivity and requires to deal with financial abuse committed by highly professional individuals. The speed with which financial crime moves around the world, and in particular money laundering, represents a formidable task for investigators and prosecutors,” Brigadier Abdullah bin Ali Al Harthy said.