The UAE’s Ministry of Economy on Monday said it imposed administrative penalties on 225 companies with a total value of about Dh76.9 million this year to ensure compliance regarding combating money laundering and terror financing.
It suspended 50 establishments also for three months for failing to register in the anti-money laundering system (goAML) of the Financial Intelligence Unit. These firms were suspended in the third quarter of 2023.
The Financial Intelligence Unit receives reports of suspicious transactions through the (goAML) system. It analyses transactions and activities to check for money laundering and terror financing activities. The aim is to prevent financial criminal activities that may affect the UAE’s efforts to comply with the requirements of the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
On August 10, the ministry announced the imposition of fines worth Dh22.6 million on 29 companies operating in the UAE’s designated non-financial business or professions (DNFBP) sector for failure to comply with the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation.
The ministry added that the supervision included “designated non-financial business and professions sector” in the mainland and free zones. These are real estate brokers and agents; dealers in precious metals and stones; auditors; and corporate service providers.
The ministry noted that these firms would remain suspended till they register in the goAML system. If they don’t rectify their status in three months, more severe penalties will apply.
It called on companies to adhere to the relevant legislation, apply the highest levels of compliance, and communicate with the concerned authorities if there are any inquiries or if they want to request technical assistance.
The monitoring and inspection campaigns were aimed at enhancing transparency in the business sectors. The Ministry organized workshops in the past couple of months to strengthen measures to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism in the UAE as well as further improve regulatory compliance requirements.