Money laundering is an increasing problem in the world, despite the legal authorities trying their absolute best to combat against crimes of these sorts. Just like any other country, the UAE maintains a strong Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system in an effort to protect against the possibility of money laundering and terrorist financing.
If you’re not sure what Money Laundering is, it’s the process of changing large amounts of illegally obtained money into legitimate money by making the money go through a bunch of several different steps.
Anti Money Laundering (AML)
Since the early 2000s, the UAE Government has taken several steps to help monitor cash flows through the UAE financial system and to abide with international efforts to fight against terrorist financing. The UAE has passed two laws that serve as the foundation for the country’s Anti Money Laundering (AML) and counterterrorist financing (CTF) efforts namely: Law No 4/2002, the Anti Money Laundering law, and Law No. 1/2004, the counterterrorism law.
Even though the AML criminalizes money laundering, it doesn’t provide guidelines on how organizations are to monitor their financial activities. In this case, Regulation No 24/2000 comes in play which provides all the necessary guidelines on how organizations are to monitor the financial activities of their business.
Steps to abide with AML
The following guidelines are provided for organizations to abide with the AML and CTF.
- Customer Due Diligence – Organizations should properly follow CDD measures in place to verify the identity of their customers and ensure the nature of their business being legitimate. Customers who’re suspected of money laundering are subjected to go through enhanced due diligence measures (EDD).
- Transaction monitoring – Organizations should monitor closely monitor their customer’s transactions and accounts for activity that could indicate money laundering. For instance, transactions surpassing a certain threshold, suspicious transaction patterns or transactions involving high-risk countries.
- Compliance Officer – Internal AML programs should be overseen by Compliance Officer/Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO), who has adequate amount of authority and expertise to carry out their duties effectively.
When firms detect suspicious activity, they should submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the UAE Central Bank on their official website, and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) via a Supervised Firm Contact Form (SFCF).
Who must abide with AML?
In the UAE, all organizations regulated by the Central Bank or other financial authorities are required to register in the goAML platform. This includes financial institutes under the Insurance Authority, the Securities and Commodities Authority, Dubai Financial Services Authority and Abu Dhabi Global Markets are required to register in the goAML system. However, the list of UAE entities that must register in the goAML system doesn’t end with the financial institutions. All the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) such as Gold & other Precious Metal traders, Real Estate Agents, Corporate Service Providers and Auditors are also required to register in the goAML system.
Documents required for registration in goAML
All organizations are required to nominate a Compliance Officer/Money Laundering Reporting Officer in their institutes. If an entity doesn’t have such an officer, then the Managing Director/COO/CFO of their institutes can register in the goAML platform. The following documents are required for registration;
- Valid and active e-mail address for the Nominated Person.
- An active mobile number (UAE or international number is accepted) for the Nominated Person.
- All supporting documentation for the organization and the nominated person prepared in a consolidated PDF file.
- Authorization letter from the institution.
- Information of nominated person should be provided as Admin and user in the system.
- Valid Passport Copy.
- Valid Residency VISA Copy.
- Valid Emirates ID.
- Valid commercial trade license.
Penalties of not abiding with AML
If firms are found to not abiding by the Anti Money Laundering Laws, the DFSA has the power to issue punishments such as fines, license suspensions or revocations or administrative restructuring. Money laundering offenses may result in fines from between 10,000 to 1 million dirhams or prison sentences of up to 10 years.
How can Bestax Chartered Accountants help you?
Over here at Bestax, we’ll help you in the followings;
- Arranging records and documents for registration in the goAML system.
- Submission of reports.
- Assistance with AML Compliance Activities in the business.
- Developing Compliance Policies in the businesses.
- Reviewing current AML policies in the business.
- Consultation services in-and-out.
In Bestax, we take pride in providing our clients with the best service they can receive. You can contact us at the following information, or register for a completely free call back by scrolling up and filling the form.
Contact – 056-798-1808
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org