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 and legal structure of the nation to ensure compliance with international standards on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. 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 organisations.
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 commits one of the following acts:
- 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.
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.
Anti-money laundering platform
The UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) launched a platform, 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 Businesses or Professions (DNFBPs) 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.