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UAE Central Bank issues new Anti-Money Laundering guidelines

Real estate brokers, dealers in precious metals and stones, lawyers and notaries, trust and company service providers and other independent legal professionals and accountants to register with the relevant anti-money laundering system to avoid revocation of licenses earlier this year.
Licensed financial institutions have been urged to develop internal policies and procedures to manage risks linked to money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The Central Bank of the UAE has issued new guidelines to help financial institutions combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

It says Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs) including lenders are obliged to develop internal policies, controls and procedures to manage risks linked to money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

LFIs must also put in place indicators to identify suspicious transactions and activities and file reports to the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the banking regulator said in a statement.

“As we continue to enhance the effectiveness of AML/CFT measures to safeguard the UAE financial system, we expect licensed financial institutions to fulfil their duties as well,” Khaled Balama, governor of the CBUAE, said.

LFIs have also been asked to regularly screen their databases and transactions against names on lists issued by the UN Security Council and its relevant committees or by the UAE Cabinet before conducting any transaction or entering a business relationship with any client, whether it is individual or corporate.

The updated guidelines came into effect on Monday, September 13th, according to the regulator and LFIs have been given a month to comply.

The UAE has come out with quite a few measures to prevent money laundering in the last few months.

Dubai has set up a specialist court in August that will focus on fighting money laundering and other financial crimes in a bid to strengthen the integrity of its financial system.

Two months ago, the Dubai Misdemeanour Court convicted eight individuals and three companies for cyber fraud and laundering stolen funds amounting to about Dh14 million ($3.81m).

The UAE has also joined other countries to clamp down on money laundering.

In August, the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit joined forces with the China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Centre to exchange information and help crack down on global money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Ministry of Economy also urged real estate brokers, dealers in precious metals and stones, lawyers and notaries, trust and company service providers and other independent legal professionals and accountants to register with the relevant anti-money laundering system to avoid revocation of licenses earlier this year.

Source: The National News