Anti-money laundering (AML) efforts consist of the laws, regulations and procedures, which are designed to prevent criminals from exchanging money obtained through illegal activities—i.e. “dirty money”—into legitimate income, or “clean money.”
The Decree-Law defines a perpetrator of a money-laundering offence as any person who is aware that the money was derived from a felony or misdemeanour, and intentionally continue to transfer, conceal, acquire, and help somebody to acquire or possess such money.
Anti-money laundering laws
Federal Decree No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism was issued to develop the legislative the law aims to:
- Combat money-laundering practices
- Establish a legal framework that supports the authorities concerned with anti-money laundering and crimes related to money-laundering
- Counter the financing of terrorist operations and suspicious organizations.
The Decree-Law defines a perpetrator of a money-laundering offence as any person who is aware that the money was derived from a felony or misdemeanour,
- Transferring or transporting proceeds of crime with intent to conceal or disguise its illicit origin
- Concealing or disguising the true nature, origin, location, way of disposition, movement or rights related to any proceeds or the ownership thereof
- Acquiring, possessing or using such proceeds
- Assisting the perpetrator of the predicate offence to escape punishment.
President issues Federal Decree-Law on anti-money laundering, countering financing of terrorism
- Some of the articles provided by the Law require the declaration of anyone entering or leaving the country carrying cash, monetary or financial bearer instruments, precious metals or stones of value, as per the regulations set out by the Central Bank.
- The Law stipulates that money laundering is independent of the predicate crime and that the punishment of the person who has committed a predicate offence shall not protect him or her from being penalised for money laundering.
- The Law recommends the establishment of an independent ‘Financial Information Unit’ within the Central Bank to receive and investigate all reports submitted by financial institutions and other corporate establishments regarding suspected illicit financial activity.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of the UAE launched the anti-money laundering platform ‘goAML‘, which is developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to report and curb organised crimes. All financial entities and Designated Non-Financial have to register on this system. The platform will help prevent money laundering, financing of terrorism and other illicit financial activities. The platform will act as an integral part of the FIU by elevating its IT infrastructure and strengthening a countrywide cooperation against criminal activities