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The UAE has imposed a monetary penalty of Dh115 million ($31.3M) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 to combat financial fraud, such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
According to the Director General of the Executive Office for AML and CTF, Hamid Al Zaabi, the UAE was a hub for trade and investment. He added that the federal government is collaborating with national authorities and the private sector to make sure that every organisation has effective measures for Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Countering Terrorism Financing (CTF) measures.
Among the notable accomplishments highlighted by Mr Al Zaabi was the UAE’s ranking as the fifth top country globally in terms of the percentage of total predicted financial fraud value charged through arrests and confiscations.
In the first two months of 2023, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) received nearly 7,000 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) and Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) from various financial firms and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), signifying an 81% rise from the last year.
Submissions of STR and SAR by DNFBP, including cash service providers, virtual asset service providers, precious stones and metal dealers, and exchange houses, increased by 91%.
According to Mr Al Zaabi, all supervisory bodies in the UAE were active in the Q1 of 2023, with the leading role played by the country’s Central Bank. The bank conducted 128 on-site inspections and 464 off-site examinations, imposing fines of nearly Dh70 million. The Ministry of Economy also carried out 3,360 on-site and 4,344 off-site inspections, resulting in fines of Dh16.5 million.