UAE steps up money laundering and terrorist financing prosecutions

The UAE has stepped up efforts to bring those who launder money and finance terrorism to justice, prosecutors said.

Ismail Madani, Senior General Counsel and Chief Prosecutor, Said the Prosecutor Prosecuting Suspected Offenders As Part Of A National Strategy To Build A “Strong Financial Crime Control System” In The UAE .

Prosecutors work with the courts, the police, the Central Bank, Customs, the Financial Information Unit and the Executive Office and are expressly empowered to combat money laundering and terrorist financing offenses.

Other law enforcement agencies have also been authorized to receive reports of suspicious financial practices, issue decisions, track and seize funds, and monitor bank accounts.

Criminal courts have been authorized to impose penalties, confiscations and fines related to funds obtained through these crimes.

The legal authority and the powers conferred on these organizations form part of accompanying measures aimed at helping them to detect crimes and their perpetrators without prejudice to the legislation in force.

Faisal bin Sulaitin, executive director of the Dubai Economic Security Center, underscored the UAE’s support for global efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing crimes, in line with the standards of the International Financial Action Task Force.

The state has taken important steps in recent years to develop a legal framework to achieve this goal.

He said the establishment of the Dubai Economic Security Center represents Dubai’s “first line of defense” to protect itself from economic crimes.

This will help build the confidence of global investors in Dubai’s secure environment and encourage international financial institutions to make Dubai the center of their business operations, he added.

Earlier this month, a senior United Arab Emirates official said a new law to combat money laundering and terrorist financing was being drafted. The legislation will govern the way charitable donations are made and the operation of nonprofit organizations.

Heavy penalties for offenders

The authorities recently highlighted the continuation of several cases.

A former employee of a Dubai bank was found guilty of embezzling more than 5.23 million dirhams ($ 1,423,000) from property development companies that were deposited with the bank, along with the help from his wife, the second accused.

Essam Eisa Al Humaidan, Attorney General of Dubai, ordered the opening of criminal proceedings against them following the investigation and referred them to the criminal court.

He returned guilty verdicts, with sentences of five years in absentia and the return of the embezzled money.

In another ruling on a case, the Dubai Criminal Court convicted an accused, who entered the country through Dubai International Airport, for concealing funds in his possession.

The court handed down a judgment imposing a fine of 100,000 Dh and confiscating the amount seized in various currencies, the equivalent of over 1.1 million Dh.

This was in line with Federal Law No. 20 of 2018 issued by the Central Bank of the UAE, which specifies the upper limit on funds that can be transported by those entering or leaving the country without disclosure, officials said. .

In another case, the court convicted nine defendants for providing unlicensed currency exchange services and transferring money, in addition to money laundering.

Another case saw the court sentencing the first defendant to two years ‘imprisonment and the second defendant to six months’ imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 Dh each as well as expulsion from the country.

He also condemned the company of the second accused in its capacity as a legal person and imposed a fine of 1 million dirhams and the confiscation of the seized funds, in an amount exceeding 8.7 million dirhams.

Counselor Ismail Madani said that the defendants committed the crime of money laundering by transferring the financial proceeds amounting to more than US $ 3.2 million from the business account of the first defendant in a bank in the United States. United to the local bank account of the third defendant in the country.

Update: October 30, 2021, 3:08 p.m.


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Michael J. Birnbaum

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