UAE Central Bank issues additional guidelines to tackle money laundering


The Central Bank of the UAE has released new guidelines to help Authorized Financial Institutions (LFIs) – which lend to cash-intensive businesses (CIBs) such as retail, commerce, travel and transportation – to fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

BIAs that provide services to CIBs should take a risk-based approach in their anti-money laundering (AML) programs and assess clients of CIBs to determine their degree of risk, the regulator said in a statement on Sunday. communicated.

CIBs are companies with a high volume of cash flow, spanning various industry sectors such as retail, wholesale and trade, travel and transportation, according to the central bank.

“LFIs should perform appropriate customer due diligence which includes identifying customers and beneficial owners, understanding customer activity and continuously monitoring the business relationship,” the central bank said.

BIAs should also obtain appropriate information regarding the source of cash deposited to a customer’s account and require the use of Emirates credentials for cash deposits at ATMs.

In addition, BIAs should maintain transaction monitoring systems to identify patterns of potentially suspicious activity that may be related to money laundering, terrorist financing or a criminal offense, and submit transaction reports directly to the LFI. ‘UAE Financial Intelligence Unit using the goAML portal, the statement mentioned.

The UAE has revealed various measures to combat and prevent money laundering in recent months.

Dubai established a specialized tribunal in August to focus on combating money laundering and other financial crimes with the aim of strengthening the integrity of its financial system. The Dubai Criminal Court convicted eight people and three companies of cyber fraud and stolen money laundering in the amount of around 14 million dirhams ($ 3.81 million) earlier this year.

It also fined nearly 500,000 Dh ($ 136,000) on a foreign exchange house operating in the country for failing to achieve appropriate levels of compliance with anti-money laundering regulations in April.

“The new guidance affirms our commitment to implement high regulatory oversight over DFIs and their transactions with cash-intensive business activities and to complement the UAE’s path to actively participate in international AML / CFT efforts.” , said Khaled Balama, governor of the Bank of the United Arab Emirates.

“We will continue our efforts to publish similar regulatory guidelines to ensure the improvement of the efficiency and robustness of our banking and financial system, in accordance with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)”.

The latest directives came into effect on September 28, according to the banking regulator. The BIAs have one month to comply.

The UAE has also joined with other countries in the fight against money laundering.

In August, the Financial Intelligence Unit partnered with the China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center to exchange information and help combat money laundering and terrorist financing. in the world.

Updated: October 3, 2021, 2:14 PM

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