Seven law firms fined Dh100K for money laundering issues

Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 9 November 2020: The Ministry of Justice has imposed a Dh100,000 fine on seven law firms for continuing to violate anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) measures.

In a statement on Sunday the Ministry of Justice said, “These measures are part of the UAE’s continuous and extensive efforts to address the risks associated with financial crimes, and reflect the strong commitment of the Ministry of Justice towards strengthening its AML and CTF supervisory role over legal professionals.”

In support of these objectives, the ministry has recently announced numerous legal measures against non-compliant lawyers, most notably the decision to suspend 200 law firms from practicing for one month due to non-compliance with anti-money laundering measures.

In response to these measures, 193 law firms have managed to rectify their compliance shortcomings, leading the Ministry of Justice to lift the suspension measures imposed previously upon them. However, seven out of the 200 law firms fall short of taking necessary corrective actions, and therefore received an Dh100,000 fine.

The ministry emphasised the importance of law firms’ full compliance with AML and CTF policies and regulations, as it underscores the UAE’s commitment towards fulfilling its obligations in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The ministry also praised the constructive partnership it has with legal professionals in the UAE, and commended the commitment of the vast majority of law firms to meeting their AML and CTF obligations.

The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is of utmost importance for the UAE, as demonstrated by the recent decision to form the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism under the Chairmanship of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the ministry concluded.

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