UAE Sets Up Special Courts to Combat Money Laundering

Published December 1st, 2020 - 12:00 GMT
UAE Sets Up Special Courts to Combat Money Laundering
Justice minister: 200 law firms fined, suspended for failing to comply with procedures. (Shutterstock)

The UAE has set up a series of special federal courts to tackle the issue of money laundering, as part of the country’s wider efforts to combat such financial crimes, it was announced on Sunday.

Justice Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al-Badi Al-Dhaheri issued a series of ministerial resolutions to set up the courts in the emirates of Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Qaiwain and Fujairah. Each court will have minor, major and appeals circuits for hearing money laundering crimes.

“The establishment of specialised courts will also support the country’s efforts and efficiency in combating crimes related to money laundering,” WAM, the UAE state news agency, reported on Sunday.

The announcement comes as Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, on Sunday chaired a meeting of the country’s Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

During the meeting, Al-Dhaheri said 200 law firms in the UAE had failed to comply with anti-money laundering procedures and were suspended from practicing for one month, WAM reported. Their suspensions will be lifted once they fulfil their obligations.

A further seven law firms were also fined 100,000 UAE dirhams ($27,229) each for anti-money laundering violations, the report added.

The Ministry of Economy announced on Nov. 24 the development of a strategic plan to support efforts to combat money laundering practices in the country, and the Anti-Money Laundering Department was established within the ministry.

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