Guide to AML in the UAE
November 22, 2023
Many businesses must do extensive customer due diligence under Money Laundering Regulations to prevent money laundering and economic crime. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks is an essential aspect of customer due diligence as it aids in screening clients against politically-exposed person (PEP) and Sanctions lists and verify claimed identities. Failure to comply with AML standards can result in financial penalties and, in extreme cases, disqualification as a business/director. At MBG, we specialize in creating AML risk assessment frameworks advising on risk, finance and legal compliance related matters.
What are the AML Regulations in the UAE?
- Federal Law No. 20 of 2018 – AML and combating the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations
- Cabinet Decision No (10) of 2019 – concerning implementation of regulation of decree law no. (20) of 2018 on AML and combating finance terrorism and illegal organizations
- Notice No. 79/2019 dated 23/06/2019 - procedures for AML and Combating of the Financing of Terrorism
What is the recommended approach for AML - Ongoing Monitoring of Customers?
Primary elements of a risk-based approach in AML compliance
- Customer risk
- Industry risk
- Product/service risk
- Geographic risk
- Delivery channel risk
How can MBG’s Risk-Based Approach support implementation of AML?
- MBG can support in establishing and enhancing effective customer due diligence (CDD) and know your customer (KYC) protocols to validate the legitimacy and authenticity of the customers.
- Conduct thorough screenings of both new and existing customers against international and domestic sanctioned lists.
- Check new and existing customers against the list of PEPs, recognizing that changes in political status can alter the risk of money laundering.
- Scrutinize new and existing customers against adverse media, particularly when customers are associated with negative news or implicated in manipulative activities.
- Designate a dedicated AML compliance officer with the authority to detect any activities that may directly or indirectly indicate money laundering threats.