UAE restricts trade in precious metals and stones and tightens suspicious banking reporting requirements

Gold hub UAE is to restrict the movement of precious metals and stones and tighten suspicious banking reports in measures aimed at stemming criminal financial activities according to the recently established Executive Office to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

Financial institutions, businesses, and non-financial professions will be required to adopt these measures, particularly concerning high-risk countries.

The office was established in February to develop the national system for curbing criminal financial activities and apply international best practices and says it will do this with technical tools to address financial crime that receive, collect and examine data before circulating it to relevant authorities to take action when necessary.

Trade restrictions

The tools include the Declare programme, which restricts the movement of precious metals, stones and cash before and after their arrival in the country in accordance with the movement of passengers at customs posts on land, sea and air borders.

A new unified electronic customs platform aims to contribute in the long term to trade facilitation, travel, and controls over illicit trafficking and smuggling operations in the country.

Suspicious banking reports meanwhile will be submitted and analysed on the goAML tool and, if suspicious activity is identified, referred to the authorities to take legal action.

Additional tools

Another tool is the IEMS platform to exchange messages between the Financial Information Unit, the private sector, and law enforcement entities in the UAE.

The Fawri Tech programme meanwhile aims to facilitate immediate action on financial issues related to combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

International criticism

The UAE, which includes the emirate of Dubai, exports billions of dollars of bullion to refiners accredited by the influential London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). In November the UAE was one of several countries the LBMA threatened to blacklist if they fail to meet regulatory standards.

The Financial Action Task Force meanwhile said last April that the UAE was not doing enough to prevent money laundering.



Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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