In a significant move to enforce anti-money laundering regulations, the Ministry of Economy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has imposed fines amounting to Dh65.9 million on 137 companies. This action was taken in the first quarter of 2023, following an inspection of 840 companies operating in the UAE’s designated non-financial business or professions (DNFBP) sector. The companies that were fined had failed to comply with the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation.
The DNFBP sector includes companies such as real estate agents and brokers, precious metals and gemstone dealers, auditors, and corporate service providers. The Ministry of Economy conducted inspection tours to monitor the operations of these companies. The inspections were part of the Ministry’s efforts to ensure the sector’s full compliance with the provisions stipulated by Federal Decree-Law No. 20 of 2018 on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations and its executive regulations and related laws.
The Ministry of Economy revealed that a total of 831 violations were committed by the violators. These included failure to adopt the necessary measures and procedures to identify the risks of crime in their field of work. The companies also failed to establish internal policies and procedures to check customer databases and transactions against names mentioned on the terrorism list, which was issued under the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 74 for 2020 on the UAE’s list of terrorists.
Abdullah Sultan Al Fan Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for the Control and Follow-up Sector and chairman of the committee for the imposition of fines on violators, stated, “The imposition of fines on violators is in line with the Ministry of Economy’s strategies and efforts as the authority responsible for the supervision of the DNFBP sector and ensuring its full compliance with the legislation.”
This move is a clear indication of the UAE’s commitment to adhering to international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It also underscores the importance of businesses understanding and complying with anti-money laundering regulations to avoid hefty fines and penalties.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is a summary and interpretation of the original content published by the Khaleej Times. For complete details and further information, please refer to the original article on the Khaleej Times website here.