SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 August 2021, Monday |

UAE Central Bank sets anti-money laundering guidelines for licensed financial institutions

To help licensed financial institutions combat money laundering and financing of terrorism, the Central Bank of the UAE issued new guidance on Saturday.

Banks and other licensed intuitions in the country have been asked to report activities they suspect may be linked to money laundering, terrorism financing, or a criminal offence through “suspicious activity reports”, the CBUAE said in a statement.

The reports filed directly to the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit through the goAML portal should be submitted within 35 days from detection of suspicious activity.

The guidance aimed at “strengthening our efforts to improve the LFIs’ [licenced financial institutions] effectiveness in implementing crime-combatting measures”, Khaled Balama, governor of the CBUAE, said.

The UAE, which has firm laws to deal with money laundering and financing of terrorism and illegal organizations, has adopted a number of new measures to combat financial crimes.

Earlier this year, the country launched a new agency to detect money launderers and those suspected of financing terrorists and organized crime.

According to the recent guidance, licensed financial institutions should assess the relevant money laundering and terrorist financing risks a customer poses and develop an appropriate program to counter them, the central bank said.

These can apply to companies, foundations, associations, trusts or other similar arrangements.

The UAE has recently enforced strict penalties to those flouting the country’s anti-money laundering rules. The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has also taken various measures to combat money laundering.

In November, the ministry set up an anti-money laundering department while a court was established in Abu Dhabi to tackle money laundering and tax evasion cases.