Money laundering is defined as any financial or banking transaction aimed at concealing or changing the identity of illegally obtained funds by passing them through the financial and banking system in order to make them appear as originating from legitimate sources, and then re-pumping and investing them in a legal manner contrary to their real nature.
As a committed member, UAE contributes to global anti-money laundering efforts and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and strives to fully implement the standards set by the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Accordingly Federal Decree-Law No. (20) of 2018 on Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organizations, and its Implementation Regulation (AML Regulations) was issued in the UAE. Additionally, Cabinet Decision No. 10 of 2019, Concerning the Implementing Regulation of Decree Law No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-money Laundering has been adopted, along with the AML registration guide. Pursuant to the AML Regulations, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) is the supervisory authority entrusted with the supervision of the ‘Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions’ (DNFBPs) sector at the state level and commercial free zones with regard to AML/CFT.
All the DNFBPs in the United Arab Emirates are required to submit various types of informational reports, such as suspicious transaction reports (STRs), electronically to the UAE Financial Intelligence Department using the “goAML” portal. Developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “goAML” is intended for use by financial intelligence units as a means for gathering regulatory reporting information, and for allowing reporting entities and law enforcement authorities to analyze and share information that can help identify criminal activity quickly, securely, and confidentially.
As the administrative penalties relating to non-compliance by DNFBPs ranges from AED 50,000 up to AED 5 million and might lead to business license and reputational lost, we recommend determining whether your business is considered as a DNFBP and if yes, to register in “goAML” accordingly.
Should you require further information on the UAE AML Regulations, please reach us out and we shall advise on your specific situation.