Stock Money laundering
Administrative fines of Dh2.25 million will be a prod for businesses to stay on the right side of UAE's AML and related laws, says Ministry of Economy. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Three companies – two operating in the gold sector and the other in real estate – were fined Dh2.25 million by the UAE Ministry of Economy, for violations related to money laundering legislation and standards set by the Financial Action task Force.

The three businesses together had committed ‘32 detailed offences’ violating the provisions of the Federal Decree-law No. 20 of 2018 on AML and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), its executive regulation, and relevant resolutions.

The fines would thus force ‘Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions’ (DNFBP) to go in with full compliance on the UAE requirements for AML/CFT.

Those fined can submit grievance against the imposition of fines to the Ministry of Economy within 15 days from the date of issuance of the notice.

The Ministry conducted inspections of economic activities under its supervision, those enlisted within the business sector, and those of DNFBPs in the last stage. These include brokers, estate agents, gold and gemstone merchants, auditors, and service providers. (The number of companies working in these fields is nearly 15,000, who operate under the Ministry’s supervision.)

The campaigns focus on inspecting the internal systems of the companies and their compliance with the federal law on ALM/CFT, its regulation, and resolutions. This includes an assessment of the understanding of money laundering risks - whether it has met the legal requirements such as appointing a compliance officer and adopting due diligence measures in its dealings with customers.

The extent to which the remittance procedures it performs comply with the country’s banking system standards is another factor, and whether it has dealt with suspicious parties too will be examined.

The actions taken against offenders ‘abides by the standards of FATF, thereby contributing to the creation of a safe business environment that is free of fiscal crimes in the country,” said Abdullah Sultan Al Fan Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Monitoring & Follow Up Sector at the Ministry of Economy.