The new initiatives announced by the UAE, which are in line with the government’s ongoing efforts to combat money laundering crimes, will help ensure strict compliance with the anti-money laundering law (AML) and enhance the economy’s ability to achieve sustainable growth, the Ministry of Economy said.
The latest move by the Ministry of Economy is in accordance with the Cabinet Resolution No. (16) of 2021 regarding a list of types of violations and administrative fines for such violations with regard to combatting money laundering and terrorism financing.
The list includes 26 types of violations and stipulated fines that range from Dh50,000 to up to Dh1 million, which could be doubled up to Dh5 million in certain cases.
In a statement, the Ministry of Economy announced the extension of the grace period for registration in its systems to combat money laundering until March 31, 2021, and warned that companies that fail to register would be subject to penalties including suspension of licences and closure.
The ministry called on companies practicing in four main categories — including brokers and real estate agents, dealers of precious metals and gemstones, auditors and corporate service providers — to enhance their awareness and knowledge on the risks of money laundering and keep pace with the government's efforts in this regard.
The first step to be taken by these companies is to register on the Financial Intelligence Unit (goAML) and on the Committee for Commodities Subject to Import and Export Control system (Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists).
“Following their registrations on these two systems, they should adopt other measures related to the two systems in accordance with the provisions of the Decree-Law, its implementing regulations and the relevant decisions.”
The Ministry clarified that the grace period for registering on the two systems has been extended until March 31, 2021, and that the companies that fail to do so before this date will be subject to penalties, including suspension of the license and closure of the facility.
In addition, the ministry underlined the significance of completing the post-registration procedures and measures to avoid the fines set by the Cabinet Resolution No. 16 of 2021.
Safeya Al Safi, director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department, MoE, said all concerned companies should establish internal policies, procedures and controls to avoid money laundering risks in accordance with the measures set forth by the executive regulations of the law.
Al Safi said the measures reflect the UAE’s keenness to continuously develop its economic legislation to enhance its competitiveness as a safe and stable global business destination.
The list of violations mentioned in a Cabinet resolution includes three types with a fine of Dh1 million each. These include dealing with fake banks; opening or maintaining bank accounts with fake names or numbers without the names of their owners; and failure to take measures related to clients listed on international or domestic sanctions lists, prior to establishing or continuing a business relationship.
The list includes five violations with a fine of Dh200,000 each; seven violations with fines of D100,000 each; and 11 violations carrying fines of Dh50,000 each.
In terms of administrative fines and the grievance mechanism, the resolution states that the Ministry shall notify the violators of the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) included in the administrative fine decision signed on him within 15 days from the date of its issuance.
The violator has the right to grievance against the decision of the administrative fine to the minister or whoever he authorises within 15 days from the date of his notification of the decision or his knowledge of it, the MoE statement said.
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