By Gureni LukwaroNineteen students from the School of Business Administration (SBA) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) attended the Sixth Annual Anti Money-Laundering and Financial Crime Conference, MENA, which was held in Dubai, November 1-2, 2015.
AUS was the only educational institution to attend this conference, which is organized by the Association of Certified Anti Money-Laundering Specialists (ACAMS).
“The 19 students are from the Financial Crime course, which is being offered for the first time this semester at American University of Sharjah,” said Tanya Gibbs, the course instructor and a long-time ACAMS member. “The majority of these students would like to pursue careers in anti-money laundering and anti-corruption compliance.”
In response to industry demand, American University of Sharjah developed the new course, MGT 34910 Financial Crime: Management Controls and Countermeasures.
“We realized that there is a huge worldwide demand for compliance professionals not only by the financial industry but also by other business sectors. Whether required by the regulators or driven by corporate social responsibilities (CSR) policies, the compliance function is growing and becoming an essential part of any business,” said Gibbs, who was instrumental in the development of this course at AUS. “Organizations are now seeking a competent workforce to fill these upcoming positions. We developed this course to try to fill this skill gap. And as far as I know, this course on financial crimes is the only one offered in the UAE at the undergraduate level.”
The course is structured to give students strong fundamental knowledge of financial crime typologies, an understanding of international and local legislative and regulatory requirements to mitigate it, and skills to detect, investigate and report financial crimes.
“It is also meant to give students maximum exposure to how they can apply their academic knowledge to the actual professional field. We do this through case studies, guest lectures and participation in professional events,” said Gibbs.
In addition to this conference, students taking the course this semester have participated in other professional forums including:
- Raising Anti-Corruption Standards in the Gulf Region (Pearl Initiative & the World Economic Forum)
- Policing and Security Conference (Rabdan Academy)
- Anti-Money Laundering Obligations in the UAE (Academy & Finance)
- International Anti-Corruption Day (Anti-Corruption Department Abu Dhabi Police)
The conference attendance was made possible through generous support by the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG), which sponsored all 19 students to attend. Osama Al Rahma, the Chairman of the FERG and the CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, was especially helpful in registering the AUS students for the conference.
ACAMS officials also visited the American University of Sharjah campus. They were met by the Dean of AUS School of Business Administration Dr. Robert Grosse and were given a tour of the AUS School of Business Administration.
Gibbs is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London, examining the effectiveness of the Anti-Money Laundering legislation and regulatory framework in the UAE in light of international standards.