“Economy” imposes fines of 3.5 million dirhams on 8 companies

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The Ministry of Economy conducted inspection tours of the activities subject to its control which fall under the business sector and the designated non-financial professions, which are: agents, real estate agents, dealers in precious metals and gemstones, auditors and corporate service providers, as part of its zeal to ensure compliance with the provisions provided in Federal Resolution Act No. (20) of 2018, with regard to the fight against money laundering crimes, the fight against the financing of terrorism and the financing of illegal organizations, its executive regulations and related decisions. , and the achievement of the country’s full compliance with the international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The total number of institutions operating in these activities is approximately 15 000 institutions subject to the supervision of the Ministry.

The tours led to the violation of 8 companies because they did not follow internal policies and controls to combat the commission of crime or engage in a suspicious employment relationship, or took the necessary measures to reduce the risks of crime in the field of work, in addition to their failure to strengthen the necessary measures to counter money laundering and to monitor and report suspicious transactions. 69 violations to the value of 3.55 million dirhams, for violating 10 items of the executive regulations of Decree-Law No. money laundering, the fight against terrorism and illegal organizations, and Cabinet Resolution No. to the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, and related decisions.

Increase the level of compliance

Abdullah Sultan Al-Fan Al-Shamsi, Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Monitoring and Follow-up Sector at the Ministry of Economy, confirmed that the ministry is seeking to impose sanctions on business sector offenders and non-financial professions at the level of compliance to increase. in these sectors with the requirements of legislation, and to establish an effective national system to confront offending practices, in order to preserve an environment free from any illegal practices, in order to have a constructive interaction of the national economy with the global economy.

He added that the ministry is working diligently to provide technical assistance, cultivate awareness and improve understanding among the business sectors and non-financial professions to enable them to implement internal procedures and processes that qualify them for growth and prosperity. of the violation of legislation, and notes that the ministry will in the next stage apply administrative sanctions in all transparency to companies that violate.

Inspection plan

Safia Al-Safi, director of the department against money laundering at the Ministry of Economy, said that the ministry annually adopts the inspection plan in accordance with methodologies to assess and assess the risks of companies in the business sectors and specific non-financial professions. categorize. , and the relevant inspection team, trained and prepared according to international best practices, works. She explained that the implementation of the inspections and the preparation of reports are carried out with high professionalism, leading to access to submit technical and accurate inspection reports showing the level of dedication and compliance to the specified non-financial business and professions reflect and measure. their risks and the extent of the need to take corrective action, and accordingly, these reports are submitted to the Enforcement Committee, which in turn takes steps necessary to determine the assessment of such violations according to a risk-based methodology and criteria in accordance with the law.

Legislative development

Counselor Salem Al Tunaiji, Head of the Investigation and Enforcement Division at the Ministry of Economy, referred to the great efforts made in recent times to develop legislation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations. with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as these amendments have contributed to raising the level of Understanding the obligations to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and stresses that the Ministry of Economics works through its oversight and oversight functions. to ensure that the targeted sectors comply with the application of anti-money laundering legislation.

Most notable offenses

Al Tunaiji pointed out that inspection reports are studied by specialized technical experts to identify infringements in accordance with the criteria for imposing administrative penalties in terms of the seriousness of the infringement and its impact on compliance with legislation and other standards. in order to decide on it. in accordance with the anti-money laundering legislation in force in the country, explains that the most prominent offenses were represented by companies in the failure to develop policies and procedures aimed at combating the commission of crime, the failure of the compliance officer for his duties contained in the anti-money laundering legislation, in addition to the failure to take the necessary measures and procedures to identify the risks of crime in his field of work, and the failure to apply precautionary measures against clients who are politically exposed is. failure to take precautionary measures against customers prior to the establishment of a business relationship (KYC), lack of documented procedures for monitoring and reporting suspicious transactions, failure to take the necessary measures to understand the purpose and nature of the business relationship, failure to take continuous monitoring measures regarding the business relationship with customers, failure to take improved precautionary measures to manage high risks, in addition to not complying with Cabinet Decision No. (74) of 2020 with regard to The terrorist list system.

grievance

The head of the department of investigation and application at the Ministry of Economy confirmed that the door is open for companies that have been violated in the designated non-financial business sectors and professions to complain about the violations within the legal period specified for 15 days from the date of notification of the contravention in accordance with Cabinet Decision No. (16) for the year 2021.

Most notable offenses

• Failure to establish policies and procedures to combat crime

The failure of the compliance officer to perform his duties as set out in the anti-money laundering legislation

• Failure to take the necessary measures and procedures to identify the risks of crime in the workplace

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