In fall of October last year, UAE government promulgated Federal Decree-Law
number 20 of 2018 concerning Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting of Financing
Terrorism, hereinafter mentioned as Anti-Money Laundering Law.
Upon a vigorous recommendation from the Financial Authority and to imitate the
global anti-money laundering principles and to battle illegal tax avoidance UAE
effectively engaged itself in overseeing the activities involving money
laundering, hence the issuance of the new law.
One may comprehend inconspicuously, however, significant amendments in the new
Law; it is the actualizing guidelines to the new AML Law which have carried
further lucidity to supervise the implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering
Law. Accordingly, the Cabinet Resolution 10 of 2019 for implementation of the
Law has been recently issued.
The foregoing regulations stipulate directions for executing the Anti-Money
Laundering Law along with clarifications for its expected effect.
Who All Should Abide?
Before the enactment of the Cabinet Resolutions, it was believed that all
financial, commercial or professional companies were liable to adhere with
Anti-Money Laundering Law. Nevertheless, the issuance of Cabinet Resolution has
clarified the applicability of Anti Money Laundering Law.
It is now evident from the Law that the companies that qualify as Financial
Institutions or referred to as Designation non-Financial Businesses and
Professions will be subject to Anti-Money Laundering provisions.
Generally, Cabinet Resolution necessitates that any Financial Institute or any
designated non-financial Business anticipate on any ground that any transaction
is suspicious in any part thereof, or relates to any criminal activity, it shall
immediately inform the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) along with all relevant
details and documents.
Importantly, the Cabinet Resolutions absolve legal practitioners, notaries, or
auditors from the prerequisites of the Anti-Money Laundering Law, if the
suspicious information was obtained during the evaluation of the clients legal
position or representing the client before any competent authority.
Additionally, any financial or designated non-financial institute is not
authorized to disclose the details of any suspicious transaction to the client,
whereas the lawyer or auditor can prevent the client from committing such
violation or can recommend preventing such activity.
FIU has been granted enormous powers under the Anti-Money Laundering Law and its
Cabinet Resolution in order to obtain relevant information pertaining to any
crime. The law allows FIU to receive any pertinent information regarding
suspicious information or empowers FIU to solicit any information from the
Financial or Designated non-Financial institutes for its perusal. Importantly,
FIU is authorized to interchange information to other countries for further
In a nutshell, it is affirmed that companies qualifying as Financial or
Designated non-Financial Business or Institutes shall abide by the provisions of
Anti- Money Laundering Laws and its Resolutions to avoid any legal
repercussions. Importantly they must follow strict internal procedures and must
try to alleviate high-risk clients.