Dubai : United Arab Emirates: Today, the 2023 ACFE Fraud Conference Middle East kicked off, which is being hosted by the UAE under the patronage of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and in cooperation with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The Conference will be held in Dubai on 8 and 9 May 2023 at Fairmont The Palm – Dubai. More than 300 anti-fraud leaders and experts from various sectors in the Middle East are participating in the conference to discuss the latest trends and tools used in the fields of fraud detection and prevention.Her Excellency Mariam Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Government Financial Management Sector at Ministry of Finance, delivered the opening speech, during which she welcomed the participants and thanked the ACFE for hosting this conference in the UAE and for their role in executing sustainable initiatives in secure business environments.Her Excellency Al Amiri noted that the online payments segment has made great strides since its inception back in the mid-1990s, and the rapid development of online banking, shopping, and other services, driven by technological advancements, has resulted in a significant rise in digital payments on all types of devices.Al Amiri mentioned that technological advancements and digital initiatives are providing fraudsters with new tools to penetrate defences, noting that over the past years, there has been a major increase in fraud cases worldwide, with consumers reportedly losing billions of dollars, especially in the Middle East.Al Amiri said: “Fraud poses a serious threat to us all. If we want to protect our economies, we need to work hand in hand to combat fraud, and that’s why we are here today. We have gathered to explore the best means of detecting and preventing fraud, as well as ways to raise the levels of compliance and internal control in an optimal manner. This is in addition to discussing ways of consolidating integrity in the public and private sectors in the Middle East, as well as the best practices and global issues that have emerged in light of the developments the world is witnessing in the fields of finance, technology, and sustainability.”Al Amiri added: “If we want to make our region secure for regional and international investors, we must collaborate to foster a transparent environment. I am proud to come from a country that has been a frontrunner in this field. Since its establishment, the UAE has positioned itself as a business hub. Our country has always been keen on devising strategies to make doing business easier, attract foreign investors, and diversify sources of the national income, and we are equally dedicated to combating fraud, money laundering, and corruption in order to create a secure investment climate.”Al Amiri noted that UAE government entities are developing and implementing nationwide initiatives to raise awareness about fraud detection and prevention, such as the National Fraud Awareness Campaign that was launched to protect consumers from financial cybercrime and fraud. The campaign went a long way in educating the public about fraud and the means of preventing it. “At the Ministry of Finance, we take our role in safeguarding the business climate very seriously. This falls within our remit to regulate all financial services as per the highest standards of quality, efficiency, and transparency. It is also part of our ongoing endeavours to strengthen the UAE’s competitiveness in the fiscal and economic field,” she added.Al Amiri stated: “The Ministry of Finance deploys the best modern financial systems to reduce fraud, through systems that define financial and administrative powers, the policies followed in establishing and monitoring accounts with banks, and the powers to sign and approve financial payments. This is inline with our commitment to apply best practices that reduce the risks of fraud. Despite the widespread use of digital technology and its risks, it has contributed in some way to reducing the occurrence of fraud and exploitation of individuals, through strict and meticulous regulatory systems."Al Amiri noted that the Ministry of Finance has developed the anti-fraud manual in 2018 to combat fraud in the federal government with the aim of enhancing transparency and integrity as well as reducing corruption, and the manual is implemented by all federal entities. Also, she mentioned that the ministry holds training workshops on an annual basis for all federal entities on enhancing the application of the anti-fraud manual in the federal government.Al Amiri also noted that the ministry established a secure and confidential communication channel that can be accessed by all our stakeholders. Through the channel, they can report any cases of corruption or other violations that have occurred or are planned at the ministry without any fear of retaliation.At the end of her speech, Al Amiri stressed the UAE’s commitment to supporting the region’s ongoing efforts to combat fraud and maintain the stability and integrity of the fiscal systems. Al Amiri said: “Together, we can promote accountability and transparency in the public and private sectors and create a secure business environment to boost prosperity across the region. Today and tomorrow, we look forward to discussing ways of safeguarding our investment climate, and sharing our experience and expertise to help reduce fraud cases in the Middle East.”Bruce Dorris, President and CEO of Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) said, “We greatly appreciate the support and partnership with the UAE Ministry of Finance for our eighth Middle East Fraud Conference. With new fraud threats arising everyday, it is important to have events like this one to learn from financial crime experts and one another so that we can prevent these frauds from greatly impacting our businesses and governments. The Ministry of Finance has demonstrated their commitment to the anti-fraud community by being a part of this conference.”The first day of the conference included two panel discussions; the first was titled “Operational shifts and their impacts on the financial industry”, and the second was titled “Managing fraud risks in sustainability initiatives”. Additionally, a panel session was held on the evolution of fraud in the global financial market, in addition to an optional session on how to pass the CFE exam.On the second day, a symposium will be held under the title “Harnessing the power of fraud technology” in addition to a panel discussion titled “Navigating fraud-related compliance and ethics challenges”. Moreover, there will be a workshop on Fraudsters’ modus operandi and the differences between “traditional” fraud and cyberfraud.