The Ministry of Economy has imposed Dh 2.25 million worth of fines on three companies after they were found to have violated certain provisions of the UAE’s anti-money laundering law.
Two of these companies are operating in the gold and gemstones sector and one is in real estate.
These firms, the ministry said, committed 32 detailed offences violating the federal decree-law on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), its executive regulation, and relevant resolutions.
Imposing sanctions on violating companies and properties is part of the country’s efforts in bolstering the business and finance sector’s compliance with AML/CFT requirements, said Abdullah Sultan Al Fan Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary for the monitoring and follow-up sector at the Ministry of Economy (MoE).
“It also abides by the standards of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), thereby contributing to the creation of a safe business environment that is free of fiscal crimes in the country,” the MoE statement said.
The violators have the right to submit grievances against the imposition of fines, the ministry stressed. These must be filed within 15 days from the date of the notice’s issuance.
The ministry recently conducted inspections of economic activities under its supervision. This covered brokers, estate agents, gold and gemstones merchants, auditors, and service providers. Nearly 15,000 companies are currently operating in these fields.
The campaigns mainly focus on inspecting internal systems and their compliance with the Federal Decree-law No. 20 of 2018 on ALM/CFT. This includes an assessment of the understanding of money laundering risks in the company — 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 and whether it has dealt with suspicious parties will also be examined.
The authorities are also offering technical support to raise awareness in the private sector, thereby promoting their adoption of procedures and internal operations that would enable their growth and prosperity.