21 Dec 2022
To enhance the Country's efforts to raise the level of compliance in the business sector and non-financial professions
Ministry of Economy levies fines of AED 3.2 million on six DNFBP companies
H.E. Abdullah Sultan Al Fann Al Shamsi: “Through these penalties, the Ministry seeks to create a stable business and attract investment environment as well as to reinforce the country’s position as a globally competitive economic centre.”
- Monitor 59 corporate violations under the provisions of Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT).
- The most prominent violations of companies are Failure to develop policies and procedures aimed at combating the commission of crime and not to take the necessary measures and procedures to identify the risks of crime in the field of work
The Ministry of Economy conducted inspections to assess the operations of Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession (DNFBP) companies, that fall under its purview - including real estate agents and brokers; precious metals and gemstone dealers; auditors; and corporate service providers. The move comes as part of the Ministry’s annual plan to ensure that these sectors are operating in accordance with the requirements set forth in Federal Decree-Law No. (20) of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and financing of illegal organisations, as well as its executive regulations and related laws. In addition, it also aims to ensure the country complies fully with all international criteria set forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
H.E. Abdullah Sultan Al Fann Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Monitoring and Following Up Sector at the Ministry of Economy, Chairman of the Committee for Imposing Administrative Penalties on violators of DNFBPs said: “These actions are the result of field and office inspections conducted by the Ministry of the Economy on businesses involved in trading precious metals, precious stones, brokers, and real estate agents as these businesses are classified as high-risk under the sectoral risk classification, necessitating the imposition of the necessary administrative fines in order to achieve compliance."
“The administrative violations are the result of the non-compliance in evaluating companies’ understanding of money laundering risks and achieving legal requirements. This follows the implementation of the relevant legislations to correct these sectors to their conditions in order to establish a stable and attractive business environment for investment and strengthen the country's position as a globally competitive economic hub which guarantees the highest standards of integrity and transparency in the area of financial and commercial oversight. Furthermore, it also seeks to support the country's efforts to raise compliance levels in DNFBP, particularly for money laundering legislation and the standards of the FATF,” he added.
During these inspections, the Ministry fined six DNFBP companies for failing to adhere to the internal policies and legislations established for anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing, engaging in a suspicious business relationship, failing to take the necessary precautions to control the risks of crime in the workplace, and failing to deal with the politically exposed companies, in addition to strengthening the AML procedures and other related practices. The incompetence of all these measures leads to administrative violations that necessitate imposing appropriate penalties in accordance with the Cabinet Resolution No. 16 of 2021. During the recent inspections, a total of 59 fines amounting to AED 3,200,000 were levied.
The Ministry of Economy conducts regular inspection tours to assess the activities of companies which are included in the DNFBP sector such as real estate agents and brokers, precious metals and gemstone dealers, auditors, and corporate service providers. Currently, the total number of companies operating in the sector has reached approximately 15,000. Through such activities, the Ministry aims to ensure the highest standards of integrity and transparency in the field of financial and commercial control, in order to combat illegal business practices and uphold the positive and prestigious reputation of the national economy globally.