Seven law firms in the UAE have been fined AED 100,000 each for violating anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF).
In a statement, 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."
The Ministry recently announced several legal measures against non-compliant lawyers, including the suspension of 200 law firms from practising for one month due to non-compliance with anti-money laundering rules.
In response, 193 practices rectified their shortcomings, leading the Ministry of Justice to lift the suspensions.
However, seven others failed to take all of the necessary actions and these are the ones now facing the AED 100,000 fines.
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 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 His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.