The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) has imposed fines worth AED 22.6 million (US$ 6.15 million) on 29 companies operating in the UAE’s Designated Non-Financial Business or Professional (DNFBP) sector.
The fine was for failing to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation. The initiative is in line with the Ministry’s efforts to ensure that the sector fully complies with Federal Decree No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations and its implementing regulations and related legal provisions.
Laws must be followed to ensure that the country fully complies with the international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The ministry revealed that a total of 225 violations were found, including failure to implement necessary measures and procedures to identify criminal risks in its field of work. The companies failed to have internal policies and procedures in place to check the names mentioned on the customer database and the Transactions and Terrorism List issued pursuant to the UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 74 of 2020 on Terrorist Lists.
It was issued for the implementation of UN Security Council decisions and related resolutions on preventing and combating the financing of terrorism and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Violators included 17 companies engaged in precious metals and gemstone-related activities, four corporate service providers and two auditing services firms, the ministry revealed.
Abdullah Sultan Alfan Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Control and Follow-up at the Ministry of Education and Chairman of the Committee to Fine Violators, said: “Imposing fines to violators is in line with the strategy of the Ministry of Economy and as a responsible supervisory authority. DNFBP industry and ensure its full compliance with the legislation’s efforts.”
He added: “The Ministry of Education is stepping up on-site inspections of high-risk companies in all emirates of the country. At the same time, our workforce is providing enhanced awareness and training support to companies in the sector.”
He emphasized that adherence and compliance with legislation is non-negotiable in the Department of Education’s industry policies and programmes. Full compliance with AML/CFT legislation is essential to create a safe business environment in the country free from money laundering and terrorist financing risks. He added that this is a national priority that will help increase the competitiveness of the UAE economy at the regional and global levels.
Safeya Al Safi, Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Division of the Ministry of Economy, said: “The Ministry is absolutely determined to implement our annual inspection target of the DNFBP industry. To achieve this goal in a timely manner, we will prepare a technical inspection report and submit it to the investigative and enforcement authorities The number of on-site inspectors required has doubled to provide deterrent measures including fines.”
She added that the department’s work teams continued to efficiently conduct centralized desk and substantive inspections in line with the 2023 inspection plan.
The ministry added that adherence and adherence to its policies and programs is necessary to achieve a compliant and safe business environment and prevent money laundering and terrorism financing crimes, which are national priorities. — trade arab news agency