Zero tolerance for financial irregularities in the UAE

The UAE has strict protocols that need compliance and adherence to, so that its integrity in the financial sector is not questioned; it’s something that is taken very seriously

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Published: Tue 28 Feb 2023, 9:46 PM

The UAE has been spearheading a movement to regulate and keep in place due diligence in the critical area of financial integrity; and it has been coming down heavily on financial crime and fiscal malpractices. In 2021, the UAE Cabinet approved the establishment of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) — in a move that was going to strengthen the country’s anti-financial crime system. Today, the UAE has strict protocols that need compliance and adherence to, so that its integrity in this sector is not questioned; it’s something that is taken very seriously even as new businesses are being set up and as the market opens up to new and exciting possibilities.

This week, two exchange houses have had their licences revoked by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and their names have been struck off the Register “for serious violations related to anti-money laundering (AML) and failing to maintain the required level of paid-up capital” and “serious regulatory misconduct”.


Last year, CBUAE had imposed a fine on an exchange house when it was discovered that it had failed to follow due compliance; it had been fined Dh1.05 million for “violating its obligation to conduct exchange activities in the licensed premises only, to use an approved cash-in-transit agent when transporting cash and for violating its obligation to immediately report violations to the central bank”.

It’s a clear message that no form of financial irregularity will be tolerated, and numerous initiatives (including watertight laws to prevent all forms of money laundering) are being taken to ensure that compliance is seamless — with those parties that are falling short being meted out appropriate punishment.



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