UAE Passes Money Laundering Act

UAE Passes Money Laundering Act

United Arab Emirates have finally passed the money laundering act to counter the menace. Under the new law, individuals found guilty of money laundering will face a jail term of ten years along with a fine ranging from 100,000 Dirham to 500,000 Dirham.

An institution found guilty of flouting the law will be fined between Dhs50,000 and Dhs500,000.

The law defines the offense of money laundering as when a person converts, transfers or deposits money with an intent to conceal its illicit origin and when they disguise the source of funds being transferred or deposited.

“The acquisition, possession or use of such proceeds” will also be considered an offence.

The anti-money laundering act also mandates that all inbound travellers should declare “the amount of money, convertible financial instruments, or precious metals and gems they hold under the disclosure regulation to be issued by the UAE Central Bank.”

Terror financing is described as providing, collecting, carrying or transferring money directly or indirectly to anyone with the intention of using it for terrorist acts, the FNC said.

The law also outlines the scope of duties of the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit and Financial Information Unit (AMLSCU) at the Central Bank.

As per the law, all banks, moneychangers and other financial institutions have a personal obligation to report any unusual transactions to the AMLSCU.

“This would increase the demand for the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Experts in the middle east countries” said Rajendra Kumar, Head of Education at Indiaforensic.

Although Middle Eastern countries have been increasingly focused on improving anti-money laundering legislation, the survey said that the region still faces some “significant challenges around compliance, especially with regard to customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) identification.”