Common types of fraud UAE
The UAE’s National Committee for Combatting Money-Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations (NAMLCFTC) has adopted a regulatory framework for virtual assets in the UAE. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The UAE's anti-money laundering watchdog (NAMLCFTC) has adopted a regulatory framework for virtual assets. This comes at a time when the UAE is cracking down on money laundering and combatting terror financing.

The new regulatory framework was adopted at the 8th meeting of NAMLCFTC. The Committee has assigned the UAE Central Bank and the Securities and Commodities Authority to oversee the implementation.

This is in addition to enhancing the efforts of the Committee’s individual authorities, ultimately contributing to the UAE’s leading position in fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism

- Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE and Chairman of the NAMLCFTC

First major step

This framework is an initial step in providing comprehensive regulation of virtual assets, and safeguards the financial system and investors from money laundering and terrorist financing risks, in line with recommendation No. 15 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) International Standards on AML/CFT.

The Committee adopted guidelines to implement targeted financial sanctions. In addition, the NAMLCFTC approved a notice to raise awareness on the implementation of such sanctions. The Committee approved technical studies proposed by the Sub-Committee for Technical Compliance on the legislative framework for confiscation based on non-conviction, as required by the National Action Plan. It also adopted a framework for identifying and confiscating the proceeds of money laundering crimes outside the UAE.

What are virtual assets?
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) includes assets linked to blockchain, bitcoin, crypto assets, virtual currencies, which use technology to swiftly transfer value around the world.

The fast-evolving blockchain has the potential to radically change the financial landscape. But their speed, global reach and above all - anonymity - also attract those who want to escape authorities’ scrutiny.