Committing or attempting to commit money laundering:
Whoever commits any of the following acts, despite being fully aware that such funds are derived from an offence or a misdemeanor, shall be deemed as a perpetrator of money laundering:
1. If converts, transfers, deposits, saves, invests, exchanges or manages any proceeds, with intent to conceal or disguise the illicit origin thereof.
2. If conceals or disguises the true nature, origin, location, way of disposition, movement, rights related to any proceeds or ownership thereof.
3. If acquires, possesses or uses such proceeds.
Money laundering as a criminal offence has two main elements: criminal acts and criminal intent. Penalties for committing money laundering can include a fine or imprisonment, or both, depending on the circumstances.
For Individuals jail up to ten years and/or fine between AED 100,000 to AED 500,000. For Entity fine between AED 300,000 to AED 1,000,000 for each offence.
Public Prosecution is responsible for prosecuting crimes, but criminal proceedings for money laundering offences may be initiated exclusively by the Attorney General.
The defenses available under UAE law to charges of money laundering are not different from those available in respect of any other criminal offence.
The UAE’s Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group published its updated Anti-Money Laundering Standardization Manual in February 2018 to ensure that exchange houses operating in the UAE have clear guidance on the implementation of critical anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing regulations.
This publication was shortly followed by the UAE Central Bank’s publication The Standards for the Regulations Regarding Licensing and Monitoring of Exchange Business, which imposes a deadline for compliance with its specific guidance of 31 December 2018. These initiatives demonstrate the UAE authorities’ continuous efforts to address anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing risks within the jurisdiction.