DIFC amends anti-money laundering law in bid to fight financial crime

The new rules will strengthen provisions on DIFC's non-financial businesses to strike them off the register in the event of non-compliance
DIFC amends anti-money laundering law in bid to fight financial crime
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, made the changes to regulate the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s anti-money laundering rules.
By Lubna Hamdan
Thu 04 Oct 2018 10:48 AM

Anti-money laundering laws in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will see changes implemented on October 29 in order to enhance the free zone’s ability to fight financial crime.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, made the changes to regulate the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s anti-money laundering rules.

They include strengthening provisions on DIFC’s non-financial businesses to strike them off the register in the event of non-compliance.

While the move plays a major role in enhancing theanti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime, it is also expected to boost the free zone’s position as a financial hub.

“They will also improve the supervisory oversight of [financial and other institutions], and are appropriate changes to support the growth of the DIFC and continue to position it as the financial hub of choice for international firms in the region,” said CEO of DFSA Bryan Stirewalt.

The changes are expected to work in favour of the UAE’s assessment in the upcoming evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the inter-governmental body which is responsible for developing policies that combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other types of financial crime.

The UAE received satisfactory status in its last review in 2008.

“The amendments will enhance [Dubai’s] anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime, and support the ongoing alignment of the DIFC regime with the FATF recommendations,” a statement by the Dubai Media Office said.

Moreover, DFSA will introduce a three-month grace period for DIFC-registered companies and other relevant bodies to comply with the amended law following its introduction.

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