Stock Money laundering
The UAE plans to take a tough stance against money laundering by introducing reinforced AML and CFT systems. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: Illicit criminal proceeds worth over Dh3 billion were confiscated from 270 companies for violating the anti-money laundering law, a top official with the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing said Monday.

Company registrars also imposed penalties on non-compliant companies and fined 3,000 companies, said Hamid Al Zaabi, Director-General of the department. Al Zaabi said regulatory authorities conducted more than 750 on-site inspections last year, in addition to off-site reviews. This led to enforcement actions and penalties valued at Dh75 million.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE Minister of Economy, said last year, inspections were conducted on nearly 400 companies from the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions sector. This led to 42 warnings and 125 fines of approximately Dh9.45 million for non-compliant companies.

UAE's tough stance against money laundering 

Followling these revelations, Al Marri also said the Ministry plans to move forward with implementing reinforced Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) systems in an effective and deterrent manner to ensure a safe and welcoming economic environment for businesses operating in the country.

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The top officials spoke at the 17th Meeting of the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The latest developments in the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan was presented. The presentation also covered developments in the use of financial intelligence in money laundering investigations and the increase in resources within the Financial Intelligence Unit.

During the meeting, a work plan for the coming period was also approved, including the requirements of fulfilling the FATF action plan and preparations for on-site visits and training and qualification programmes for concerned authorities.