AML/ CFT Compliance Services

AML/ CFT Compliance Services

Governments across the globe have been taking measures to increase the scrutiny of AML/CFT processes and controls, to fight Financial crimes. Individuals and firms are required to comply with minimum standards; failure to keep up with the changing requirements can lead to penalties and legal consequences.

In December 2020, the UAE Cabinet adopted the formation of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism with an aim to follow the international requirements in this sector.

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 continue to transfer, conceal, acquire, help somebody to acquire or possess such money.


A: Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Advisory
With the continuous changes in the regulatory framework and more stringent AML Rules and regulations, it is becoming difficult for Financial institutions and DNFPBs to implement new regulations and design a complete compliance framework.

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.

B: FAQ AML/ CFT Compliance Services

  • What are relevant Laws of UAE on AML and CFT?

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 National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations (NAMLCFTC) oversees the national risk assessment process. The UAE identifies and assesses the money laundering and terror financing risks it faces, in line with its obligations under the Financial Action Task Force Standards.

D: Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) compliances required in the UAE
The AML law mandates the formation of an independent Financial Intelligence Unit (the UAE FIU) within the Central Bank (CBUAE). The purpose of the unit is to obtain Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and related details from all Financial Institutions (FIs) and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs).

The AML-CFT Law states that FIs should “identify crime risks within (their) scope of work” and they also have the responsibility to update their risk assessments with regards to the different risk factors. While recognizing, assessing, and understanding the risks of the FIs, their business nature and size must be considered.

E: sectors are governed by the UAE Central Bank’s AML / CFT regulations

Banks, finance companies, exchange houses, money service businesses (including hawaladar or other monetary value transfer services)
Insurance companies, agencies, and brokers
Securities and commodities brokers, dealers, advisors, investment managers
Other financial institutions (FIs)

F: main elements of the UAE’s AML / CFT regulations
All the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations of 2012 and its methodology of 2013 are included in the AML Law and AML By-law.

To recognize, evaluate ad understand risks
Carry out required due diligence work
To appoint a compliance officer to fulfill the needs of the relevant Supervisory Authority
To ensure that the required management and information systems, internal controls, policies and procedures to mitigate risks are in place
To ensure that the indicators to recognize suspicious transactions are in place
To maintain adequate records

G: How does an organization ensure that it is compliant with the UAE’s AML and CFT regulatory requirements
Financial Institutions are required to “maintain a risk identification and assessment analysis with its supporting data.” They can make use of diverse models or methodologies to analyze risk, based on the nature and size of their businesses.

H: Go AML System
The go AML system was developed by the United Nations On Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

Go AML is an integrated system used by financial information units to receive, analyze and distribute suspicious transaction reports quickly and effectively, and is currently used by a large number of financial information units worldwide, and the UAE is the first Gulf country to implement this modern system


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