MENA

Network and connect with the elite community of crime fighting professionals

MENA

Network and connect with the elite community of crime fighting professionals

The ACFCS MENA chapter is your direct link to the ACFCS parent organization in the USA. By joining our Chapter, you will be part of both ACFCS’s regional and global network of financial crime professionals. The Chapter membership will also give you access to the knowledge and the practical tools to support and enhance your career in the financial crime space.

OUR MISSION

The Chapter’s mission is to set a platform for effective public-private partnership in the industry and to empower the crime fighters with the necessary knowledge and tools in their fight against financial crimes. The Chapter also seeks to encourage knowledge sharing and networking opportunities between the subject matter experts from the private and public sector.

OUR VISION

By taking the small steps together, we aim to make a positive impact on the society; nurture the culture of ethics, transparency and minimize the financial crimes
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Anis Ahmed

Chair

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Anis Ahmed (Chair) is the Founder & CEO of Unitor, a Digital Identity & Payments Solutions company. He also advises financial institutions on Anti-Fraud, Corporate Investigations, ABC and Whistleblowing Programs.

Anis comes with over two decades of experience, mainly in global and Middle-Eastern banks. He has spent 19+ years in Anti-Fraud, Financial Crime and Corporate Investigations domains in banks such as Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

He is a Certified Fraud Examiner from ACFE, USA and has several certifications in Advanced Anti-corruption, Compliance & Regulatory Programs, Privacy Law & Data Protection, and Transnational Organized Crimes.

He has done some remarkable work in India and the United Arab Emirates in preventing frauds and creating anti-fraud awareness at the industry level.

He is an acknowledged thought leader and works closely with the law enforcement agencies and professional bodies in mitigating financial crimes.

He is a strong advocate of Public-Private Partnership and believes collaboration between various bodies to combat financial crimes.

He has successfully investigated corporate scams, cyber-frauds & money-laundering incidents resulting in the apprehending and prosecution of several international & local criminal syndicates.

 

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Sandra Mottoh

Co-Chair

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Sandra Mottoh (Co-Chair) is the Program Director for Regulatory Governance and Compliance Audits at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, UAE. Sandra oversees the Group’s governance and regulatory compliance audit program and associated risk mitigation. Ms Mottoh, as a renowned “regulatory compliance fixer”, advises on compliance requirements, introduction of robust controls and best practices.

Prior to her current role, Sandra was an EMEA Compliance Director at Citibank (London & New York) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (London); and held various compliance positions at HSBC Private Bank and Barclays. At Citibank, she was responsible for EMEA Compliance Program Governance, leading a portfolio of regional and global compliance operations in London. During this time, she was seconded to New York to design and operationalise Citibank’s compliance framework to manage and mitigate regulatory risks impacting global functions, including: Risk, Operations & Technology and HR, while promoting regional regulatory risk governance forums.

Recognised amongst peers for adopting a commercial collaborative approach to analyse, advise on and delineate regulatory requirements across the investment and banking risk / return spectrum.

Qualified in CAMS, Fintech from Oxford University and Private Equity &Venture Capital from Harvard Business School, Sandra’s professional experience is underpinned by an impressive academic background, including a LLB Law degree and Master of Science in Corporate Governance and Business Ethics.

Passionate about inspiring women to make decisions that facilitate financial empowerment, Sandra also maintains awareness of developments in RegTech and how new technologies can be adopted to mitigate global regulatory challenges.

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Gurcharan Chhabra

Chapter Advisor

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Gurcharan Chhabra (Chapter Advisor) comes with 3 decades of banking experience in large Middle Eastern Banks. He is currently the Executive Vice President & Head Fraud Prevention & Intelligence Division of Mashreq Bank.

Gurcharan is a Certified Fraud Examiner and Charted Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

He comes with rich experience in Internal Audit, Finance and Fraud Risk Management. He is an acknowledged thought leader in the Anti-Fraud domain and acknowledged for introducing cutting-edge solutions to prevent fraud. He is also a well-known speaker for the ACFE and other forums. Until recently he was the Chairperson of UAE Banking Federation’s Fraud Prevention Committee. Under his leadership, UBF joined hands with UAE’s Law Enforcement Agencies and The Central Bank of the UAE to conduct an industry-wide fraud awareness campaign. He is also a strong believer of Public-Private partnership to mitigate financial crimes.

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Raina Verma

Programming Director

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Raina Verma (Programming Director) is a qualified MBA, CFE, CAMS professional with over 20 years of experience in Internal Audit, Fraud Risk Management (prevention, detection, monitoring, response management), Financial Crimes Investigations, Regulatory Compliance & AML. She is a recipient of two Fin Crime awards by law enforcement bodies in the region. In her current role, she is Head, Fraud and Forensics at MAF Retail. In this role, she works with the largest retail organization in the MENA region with a fast-growing footprint in 17 countries. She periodically writes for leading anti-fraud associations on topics of ethics, compliance and fraud.

She has previously worked with organizations like Lloyds TSB Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB is the world’s first full service Islamic bank and the third largest Islamic bank in the world), Tamweel, and NBFI like Reem Finance. She was one of the founding members of Dubai Bank. She also established an anti-fraud function at National Bank Fujairah.

She has advised on acquiring tools and tech for digital payments, related digital platforms and establishing related anti-fraud guidelines. She has been engaged in creating training and awareness (E-learning and F2F) framework for anti-fraud, compliance, conflicts of interest, whistleblowing, insider trading, entertainment and gifts, anti-bribery and corruption (ABC).

 

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Khalid Nadim

Event Manager

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Khalid Nadim (Event Manager) is a career banker, currently employed with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank where he manages Business Banking quality and controls.

He has over 15 years of rich corporate experience gained in India and the UAE with diverse experience in Compliance, Operations, Fraud Due-diligence, Client Onboarding. He is an Ex- HSBC, Deutsch Bank and Google.

He has multiple certifications in the financial crime compliance domain including ACAMs Advanced Certification in Risk Management, Certified Fraud Examiner from ACFE and Advanced AML Certification from ICA apart from various other certifications in Islamic Banking and Strategic Management.

Khalid is a subject matter expert in areas in AML Framework, Policies & Monitoring, Fraud Due-diligence, and other related compliance areas, process automation and transitioning.

He is actively involved in conceptualizing and imparting financial crime compliance trainings at various levels to both first and second lines of defense within his current organization. He is passionate about sharing knowledge and keeping abreast with current developments in the financial crime space.

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Sheetal Bhardwaj

Communications Director

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Sheetal Bhardwaj (Communications Director) is a seasoned Risk & Compliance professional with over 19 years of hands-on experience managing successful Compliance Programs in the MENAT region.

She is presently working with one of the largest banks in the New Zealand.

She was an approved Compliance Officer & MLRO by the Central Bank of the UAE and Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). As a Subject-Matter Expert, she has served in leadership roles covering various aspects of Regulatory Compliance & Financial Crime Risk, including regulatory audits & thematic reviews.

She is an MBA in Finance & a mathematical science graduate in statistics from the University of Delhi. She is a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Compliance Officer (CCO), along with certifications in Compliance & AML from CISI, UK & ICA Manchester Business School, Henley Business School.

Sheetal is a well-known speaker and has delivered several speaking & training assignments in various forums, including at the University of Bradford and the University of Dubai.

She has also volunteered in the Government of India initiative, “Mentor of Change,” to educate children in rural areas of India.

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Zahid Kalolwala

Membership Director

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Zahid Kalolwala (Membership Director) has over two decades of domain experience and is a seasoned C-level cool-headed and pragmatic business leader with expertise in Banking, Remittances, Payments, Digitization, Fintech and Financial Services. Zahid is passionate about transforming businesses, disrupting status quo, bringing new ideas to fruition and shaping future leaders. Zahid has lived and worked in UAE, Kuwait, UK, Hong Kong, India & most recently in Saudi Arabia and traveled to over 70 countries across 5 continents, managing multi-country P&Ls and leading global teams, including for big conglomerates and MNCs like MoneyGram, Travelex, WallStreet, Al Ghurair and Al Rajhi Bank.

In his leadership positions, though mainly focused on business, Zahid has had several opportunities to work closely with anti-fraud professionals who work in diverse financial crime disciplines, including AML, enforcement, anti-corruption, anti-fraud, data analytics and cyber security. Zahid holds CFE, CFS, CAMS, CAME, CRCSP, GRCP, MICA and few other fraud and compliance certifications. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (IIMA), Zahid has attended several physical and virtual workshops, courses and discussions at premier global institutes like Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Said Business School, Google, LinkedIn, IBM, RCA, UNODC, HKU and CFTE. For his valuable and continuous contribution to the society and the industry at large, several global and reputed institutes and universities have conferred Zahid with Honorary Doctorates.

Zahid is an Indian national happily settled with his mother, wife and two kids in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. He is currently employed as Senior Director & Digital Advisor at Al Rajhi Bank, the largest Islamic bank in the world.

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Faez Hamad Al Shehri

Membership Director

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Faez Hamad Al Shehri (Membership Director) comes with more than 11 years of professional experience in Anti-Fraud, Anti-Bribery & Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance domains. He has worked with leading national and international banks, including American Express, Samba Financial Group (Citigroup), Emirates NBD, and Al-Rajhi Bank.

Faez is currently the General Manager of Fraud Management Department at the Ministry of Finance of the Saudi Arabia. He is responsible for managing the anti-fraud portfolio across the ministry.

He also has demonstrated experience in leading Anti-Fraud projects by making use of data and AI capabilities to deter fraud and misconducts in both private and public sectors. He has played vital roles in 6 real-time or near real-time AI implementation projects.

For the past decade, Faez has been part of several Risk and Anti-Financial Crime Committees, some of which are national level committees. His significant contribution has helped decisionmakers in making informed decisions on anti-fraud and financial crime matters.

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Marian Magdy Zaki

Membership Director

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Marian Magdy Zaki (Membership Director) comes with over 19 years of banking experience. She spent over 18 years in Citibank in various capacities in both client facing and backend roles. She was responsible for managing Fraud Risk Management for the UAE, Bahrain & Egypt.

Marian is currently the Head of Fraud Risk Management for Al-Ahly Bank of Kuwait and oversees its Egyptian Operations.

Marian’s core specializations include fraud risk, cyber-fraud, investigations, AML, anti-corruption, etc.

Marian has completed her Bachelors in English Language and Literature.

 

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Victoria Masi

Secretary

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Victoria Masi (Secretary) is the Senior Manager, Financial Crime and Compliance at AGTB Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, ADGM Fintech, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She is ACAMS certified as well as holds an International Compliance Association/ICA Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance.

As a highly motivated Financial Crimes Specialist with over 13 years’ work experience and knowledge in Financial Crime Risks, her portfolio covers the varied aspects of KYC/AML/Sanctions and Client on-boarding for Financial Institutions. She has dealt with a range of bank customers from retail to Private/High Net Worth/Ultra HNW clients plus other Institutional/Government & Corporate Clients.

Her dynamism and diversity are evident in her work as she has a robust exposure to different regions, cultures and work environments having worked in the UK, Africa and Middle East/UAE with Financial Institutions, International Law Firms, and a UK Big 4 auditing Firm.

A Trained solicitor with concrete understanding of international best practices in FCC, she is also an AML Trainer and Project manager with First-hand exposures to the UK and UAE Financial Crime and Compliance Regulatory environment (Central Bank UAE, ADGM/FSRA, FCA/PRA). In her spare time, you can find Victoria engrossed in some creative writing, running, and yoga.

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Zarqa Sharif

Secretary

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Zarqa Sharif (Secretary) comes with over a decade of legal and compliance experience, mainly in global and Middle Eastern organisations such as Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

She is the Compliance Head (Doha) and the Middle East Compliance Training Head for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, implementing compliance control frameworks aligned to regulatory requirements and global best practices, developing, and delivering on, compliance training strategy and advising on compliance and financial crime matters.

She has headed multiple Financial Crime Departments and successfully established and remediated compliance and financial crime frameworks, in the U.K and the Middle East, gaining a reputation as a ‘fixer’ and problem-solver amongst her peers.

She is a strong advocate of training and education and continuing professional development. She holds several compliance and financial crime certifications, including the CAMS and compliance and financial crime diplomas from the International Compliance Association, in addition to an LLB Law degree, Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Masters in Business Information Technology.

She believes collaboration between public and private bodies and transforming organisational compliance culture via training and education is key to combatting financial crime.

She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, particularly in relation to the promotion of women in the financial services sector.

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Raad A. Gashgary

Treasurer

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Raad A. Gashgary (Treasurer) is a Saudi Arabian certified professional with a demonstrated experience in combating financial crimes, who held several leadership positions at national and international financial institutions. He currently serves as the Head of Anti-Fraud Division at Bank Al Jazira that considered to be one of the reputable banks in Saudi Arabia.

As an expert in combating financial crimes, he serves as an active member of the Saudi Banks Anti-Fraud Committee at Saudi Central Bank in addition to his membership in Fraud Control Committee, Product & Policies Review Committee and permanent invitation to Board Risk Committee in Bank Al Jazira.

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

See What Certified Financial Crime Specialists Are Saying

"The CFCS tests the skills necessary to fight financial crime. It's comprehensive. Passing it should be considered a mark of high achievement, distinguishing qualified experts in this growing specialty area."

KENNETH E. BARDEN 

(JD, Washington)

"It's a vigorous exam. Anyone passing it should have a great sense of achievement."

DANIEL DWAIN

(CFCS, Official Superior

de Cumplimiento Cidel

Bank & Trust Inc. Nueva York)

"The exam tests one's ability to apply concepts in practical scenarios. Passing it can be a great asset for professionals in the converging disciplines of financial crime."

MORRIS GUY

(CFCS, Royal Band of

Canada, Montreal)

"The Exam is far-reaching. I love that the questions are scenario based. I recommend it to anyone in the financial crime detection and prevention profession."

BECKI LAPORTE

(CFCS, CAMS Lead Compliance

Trainer, FINRA, Member Regulation

Training, Washington, DC)

"This certification comes at a very ripe time. Professionals can no longer get away with having siloed knowledge. Compliance is all-encompassing and enterprise-driven."

KATYA HIROSE
CFCS, CAMS, CFE, CSAR
Director, Global Risk
& Investigation Practice
FTI Consulting, Los Angeles

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