Dubai gold trader fined Dh1.35m for failing to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws

Unnamed company fined for a total of eight violations in Ministry of Economy inspection campaign

FILE PHOTO: Gold bullion is displayed at Hatton Garden Metals precious metal dealers in London, Britain July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo
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A gold trader in Dubai has been fined a total of Dh1.35 million ($367,597) for eight separate breaches of laws governing money laundering and terrorism financing.

The unnamed company was fined as part of the Ministry of Economy's extensive inspection campaign into Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBPs). DNFBPs are a group of non-financial businesses governed by money laundering rules, and include precious metals dealers, property brokers, auditors and corporate services providers that offer company formation services.

"Three companies belonging to the group were issued fines of Dh450,000 each for violations," the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The Dubai gold trader was fined for breaches including a failure to adopt the necessary measures to determine criminal risks, failure "to establish internal policies, controls and procedures commensurate with the volume of its business", failure to reduce risk, and a series of other offences.

The ministry instructed DNFBPs earlier this year to register with the goAML portal set up by the ministry in 2019 and with an automatic reporting system for sanctions list. Registrations needed to be completed by the end of last month.

The ministry's inspections are part of a series of measures that have been taken in recent months to strengthen anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism rules.

In February this year, the UAE established a new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing agency to act as a "national co-ordinator with internal, intergovernmental and international organisations to tackle money laundering".

The ministry reiterated its warning to DNFBPs who fail to comply with a 2018 federal law introduce to combat financial crime that they face fines of between Dh50,000 and Dh5m for offences, as well as the potential suspension of their licences or even the closure of their businesses.

The ministry will continue its inspection campaigns to "ensure that companies comply with the provisions of the federal law and its implementing regulations", Safeya Al Safi, director of the ministry's anti-money laundering department, said.