2019 ACFE Fraud Conference Middle East Opens in Abu Dhabi



The region’s most important event dedicated to both analyzing and preventing fraud and malpractice began Sunday with the opening of the 2019 ACFE Fraud Conference Middle East.

Hosted by the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA) and drawing on the expertise of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the first of the conference’s three days witnessed the participation of more than 450 stakeholders in a comprehensive program of keynote addresses, seminars and panel discussions centered on understanding the root causes of this phenomenon, as well as defining and sharing leading practices in defending corporate and public ecosystems against the negative impact of fraud on society.

The organizers of the event, the ACFE, stated that Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the conference for the second consecutive year demonstrates the important role the Emirate is playing in terms of enhancing transparency, supporting governance and promoting assurance.

“This year’s ACFE Fraud Conference Middle East explores the fraud-related challenges impacting economies around the globe. Topics include cyber fraud, anti-fraud strategies and measures, and the topic of shell companies and how to investigate them. Internationally-renowned speakers from related fields and disciplines will discuss these challenges and share their experiences and knowledge, exploring case studies and assessing best practices for conducting investigations,” said H.E. Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, Chairman of ADAA.

“Bringing together assurance, compliance, governance, security and anti-fraud professionals from all industries and backgrounds, the conference is a leading platform to showcase the latest experiences and methods of countering fraud and corruption,” he added.

The 2019 ACFE Fraud Conference Middle East agenda includes a series of sessions examining relevant and prevailing topics in the quest for sound governance and prudent practices. Keynote speakers include Dr. Eugene Soltes, author of ‘Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal’ – a book described as being a ‘a groundbreaking study on white-collar criminality.’ Soltes, whose research focuses on how individuals and organizations confront and overcome challenging situations, was awarded the 2015 Charles M. Williams Award for outstanding teaching.

Addressing forum participants on the opening day was Dr. Stephen Hill, Ph.D., MLPI, CIIP, the managing director of Hill Bingham Ltd, who educated attendees about how the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that imposes strict new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information, and which came into force in May last year, will affect cybersecurity. He also applauded ADAA’s dedication to promoting and supporting leading practices in the anti-fraud industry.

“We now live in a world were data has become our biggest asset but is also our biggest responsibility. New European GDPR legislation takes data protection to the next level and amongst many things has identified concerns from the public when it comes to the protection of their data, thus making data processors and controllers more accountable. The impact of financial crime on the world economy is immense and the current fraud figures are so large they can scarcely be comprehended. Directors and managers need to know the fraud risks that their businesses face and how to protect themselves against these risks,” he said.

“It is encouraging that Abu Dhabi are focusing on fraud and how to mitigate against it impacting on the economy. The collaboration with organizations such as the ACFE demonstrates a determination not to alarm but to educate those who are in a position to identify and stop this activity from happening. By bringing people together at the 2019 ACFE Fraud Conference Middle East, it allows delegates to share experience and hear from some of the best speakers both in the UAE and further afield to improve their resilience and continue the fight against fraud,” he added.

The first day of the event also saw attendees learning about optimizing their cross-border investigations from Richard Trainer, CFE, legal director at Mishcon de Reya LLP.

“Suing to recover assets lost to fraud is very different from ordinary litigation as fraudsters do not play by the rules. The good news is that the courts of most jurisdictions are here to help, even those in 'shadowy' offshore jurisdictions where fraudsters typically salt away the proceeds,” he explained.

The 2019 ACFE Fraud Conference Middle East runs from February 24-26, 2019 at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche, Abu Dhabi. The conference draws on the expertise of the ACFE - the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and a premium provider of anti-fraud training and education. The ACFE works to reduce business fraud worldwide and inspire public confidence in the integrity and objectivity of the counter-fraud profession.

For more information on the agenda, speakers and location, visit FraudConference.com/MiddleEast.

About the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

Based in Austin, Texas, the ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with nearly 85,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud worldwide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession. For more information, visit ACFE.com.

Contact the ACFE
For more information, email PR@ACFE.com.