UAE engages with Onshore and Offshore DNFBPs to curb financial crimes

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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UAE government authorities brought together executives from Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to raise awareness and understanding of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in the UAE.

Two dedicated sessions; one onshore DNFBPs and the other offshore DNFBPs were focused on the UAE’s AML/CFT framework and practical initiatives to promote public-private sector collaboration in this area.

More than 600 DNFBP constituents attended the sessions, which were led by the UAE government to improve their understanding of significant risks in the DNFBP sector, regulatory and enforcement changes, and the significance of greater public-private sector collaboration to avoid financial crime.

DNFBPs include professionals in the precious metals industry, trust and corporate service providers (TCSPs), consultants, auditors, external accountants, and those in the legal and real estate sectors who have heightened AML/CFT exposures outside of the financial services sector. These professions are vital to the UAE’s efforts to improve its AML/CFT framework and serve as “gatekeepers” to prevent financial crime.

Ahmed Al Sayegh
Mr. Ahmed Al Sayegh
Minister of State

“An effective system to combat money laundering and terrorist financing begins with an active and engaged partnership between the public and private sectors. Financial Institutions have a core role to play, but so do DNFBPs. This involves identifying, assessing and taking preventative action to mitigate the risks of being involved in facilitating the transfer of illicit activity.”

Government participants included representatives from the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Executive Office for AML/CFT, DFSA, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ).

The UAE government stated that the pervasive and dynamic nature of financial crime demands the mobilization of public and private sector resources, strengths, and experience, with DNFBPs playing a unique role in sharing information and implementing effective AML/CFT compliance frameworks.

The event highlighted that it is only through the collective efforts of government, regulators, law enforcement, the judiciary and financial and non-financial businesses that the UAE, and the international community at large, can effectively respond to the threat of financial crime.

The importance of customer due diligence, particularly in recognizing and reporting suspicious activity and transactions, was emphasized during the session. DNFBPs were made aware that an important focus is on the monitoring, reporting, and analysis of illegal dealings through the Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) regime, business registries, and other information-sharing channels.

Related: UAE firms that failed to register in AML system to be penalized from May 1