UAE Central Bank Imposes Dh352k Fine on Currency Exchange

  • Richard Marley
  • December 28, 2021
  • 2 minutes read
  • 2169

The Central Bank of the UAE has fined an exchange house with a total of Dh352,000 for shortcomings in AML compliance. The regulator had provided sufficient time to all exchange houses for improvements. 

The banking regulator imposed the fine in accordance with Article 14 of the Federal Decree Law No 20 of 2018 on anti-money laundering (AML), combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), and the financing of illegal organizations.

In a statement on Monday, the Central Bank said, “CBUAE will continue to work closely with all financial institutions in the UAE to achieve and maintain high levels of AML/CFT compliance and will continue to impose further administrative and/or financial sanctions, according to the law, in cases of non-compliance.” 

The UAE being the second-largest economy in the Middle East boasts strict laws against money laundering and terrorism financing. The country has also issued numerous regulations over the years to put an end to financial crimes.

Earlier this year, the UAE established the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing. The agency directs efforts to combat money laundering and deals with high-risk organizations that are found to be linked to organized crime.

In November 2020, the UAE Ministry of Economy established a new anti-money laundering department to enforce local laws and AML compliance on all non-financial businesses and professionals.

In August this year, Dubai laid foundations of a special court specifically for combating money laundering and other financial crimes to strengthen the country’s financial system.

The Dubai Misdemeanour Court sentenced eight individuals and three companies for cyber fraud and laundering stolen funds totaling up to Dh14 million. The central bank also fined six exchange houses with a total amount of Dh17.31 million for failure to comply with AML regulations in October. 

Furthermore, the UAE has initiated joint efforts with other countries against money laundering. In August, the Financial Intelligence Unit worked together with the China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Centre to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Suggested read: UAE Authorities to Coordinate Efforts Against ML/TF Among NPOs