The IMF have just released the above paper. Here are the key findings:
1. A basic legal framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing is in place in the UAE, but that framework needs further strengthening in a number of areas. The AML law needs to be amended to expand the range of predicate offences and to provide greater powers for the financial intelligence unit. The FIU should also increase its own staffing so that it may operate as an autonomous unit, rather than relying on the resources of the Central Bank's Supervision Department and other regulatory agencies.
2. The legal framework for the financial sector preventive measures in the domestic sector provides a basic grounding, but it mostly predates the revision of the FATF Recommendations in 2003, which have now imposed much more detailed requirements. While the central bank has taken various administrative measures to strengthen the regime within the domestic sector, these require a more solid basis in the legal and regulatory framework, especially with respect to the customer due diligence (CDD) and related obligations. The regime applied to financial institutions operating within
2 the Dubai International Financial Centre tends overall to be relatively close to the FATF standards.
3. The suspicious transactions reporting system delivers a lower number of reports than might be expected within a financial market of the size and nature of that within the UAE, and greater clarity is required about the basis on which institutions are expected to report transactions suspected of being linked to either money laundering or terrorist financing.
4. The authorities have taken positive initiatives to address the issue of Hawala dealers, and have introduced a voluntary system of registration and reporting. The central bank intends progressively to formalize its oversight regime for this sector, which is to be welcomed.
5. The basic AML legislation captures some of the DNFBP sectors, but no specific customer due diligence or related obligations have been extended to these entities, and there is no AML/CFT regulatory framework within the domestic sector. At the time of the onsite visit, Dubai International Financial Center Authority (DIFCA) had drafted regulations for DNFBPs. Measures taken within the various free zones vary substantially. The full 244 page report can be found here
Labels: abu dhabi, Dubai, gulf, hawala, money laundering, terrorism, uae