Firms not complied to the UAE anti money laundering regulations to be penalised from May 1

The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) announced the end of the extended grace period that it granted to Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to register in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations.
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Dubai: The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) announced the end of the extended grace period that it granted to Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to register in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations.

DNFBP establishments that have not registered themselves in these systems will be penalized starting from tomorrow, 1 May 2021.

The Ministry had previously extended the deadline for registration in the systems after the initial grace period ended on March 31, 2021, taking into account the conditions of companies under the current circumstances, and to allow all targeted companies to study the registration requirements and take the necessary measures. It had also indicated that companies that fail to register in the goAML system and the Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists will be subject to infraction from tomorrow.

The Ministry further explained that the fines stipulated in Federal Decree Law No. 20 of 2018 on countering money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and financing illegal organizations, specifically in Article No. 14, as well as the executive regulations of the decree-law and related decisions, start from AED 50,000 and go upto Dh5 million. Other penalties for the violation include revocation of the license or closure of the facility itself. The Ministry called on all the targeted companies to expedite registration, protect themselves from possible legal violations, and secure their investments from the risks of money laundering.

The Ministry affirmed the continuation of its inspection campaigns on DNFBP sector to ensure that the companies have registered themselves in the two systems, and to monitor their compliance with other legal requirements, foremost of which are taking due diligence measures towards clients, identifying the true beneficiaries, reporting suspicious transactions. In addition, they are also required to adopt clear internal policies and controls to identify and avoid the risks of money laundering crimes. The Ministry explained that its inspection plan will cover all categories of the DNFBP sector subject to the control of the Ministry of Economy, which include brokers, real estate agents, auditors and dealers of precious metals and gemstones, and corporate service providers.