UAE: 6 hawala operators fined Dh350,000 for not registering with Central Bank

In November 2020, the Central Bank had urged non-registered Hawala providers to officially register and obtain a certificate before December 2.



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Waheed Abbas

Published: Wed 15 Dec 2021, 2:12 PM

The UAE Central Bank has fined six hawala operators Dh350,000 in violation of the country’s Anti Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations (AML/CFT) laws.

A statement issued on Wednesday said hawala providers were penalised for not registering on the regulator’s GoAML reporting system on time.

“The Central Bank imposed a financial sanction of Dh50,000 on each, with a doubled amount for one Hawala provider with a prior violation of a similar nature. The Central Bank allowed ample time for all registered Hawala providers operating in the UAE to register on the GoAML system, who were informed that further delays would result in penalties under the AML/CFT Law,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Hawala is a traditional system of transferring money whereby the money is paid to an agent who then instructs an associate in the relevant country or area to pay the final recipient. As a result of these transactions, no record is maintained, hence, the funds can be misused for money laundering and terror financing.

In November 2020, the Central Bank had urged non-registered Hawala providers which operate in the UAE to officially register and obtain a certificate before December 2, 2020.

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The regulator has tightened its anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing regulations as part of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) framework.

On Tuesday, the apex bank fined a bank Dh19.5 million operating in the country for violating AML/CFT regulations.

It asked all hawala providers to abide by UAE laws and Central Bank regulations and standards, to safeguard the transparency and integrity of their transactions.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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