UAE: Central Bank Issues New Hawala Providers Guidance

UAE: Central Bank Issues New Hawala Providers Guidance News developments

UAE: Central Bank Issues New Hawala Providers Guidance

The UAE’s Central Bank has announced it has issued new guidance on anti-money laundering and tackling terrorist financing to Registered Hawala Providers and Licensed Financial Institutions who provide services to them.

It came into force today.

It was issued after considering Federal Decree-Law No. 20/2018 and Cabinet Decision No. 10/2019 as well as Financial Action Task Force standards and guidance.

RHP have to comply fully with UAE requirements relating to targeted financial sanctions and suspicious transaction reporting). They also have to establish and maintain an effective anti-money laundering and terrorist financing compliance programme to prevent misuse of this activity to facilitate money-laundering or terrorist financing. This programme should include a competent compliance officer, appropriate customer and agent due diligence, transaction monitoring and record keeping.

In addition, they have to maintain an account with a bank operating in the UAE to be used for settlement and provide the Central Bank with details.

Licensed Financial Institutions should accept RHP customers and manage any risks from these transactions through appropriate controls. These institutions must not accept customers who are unregistered hawala providers based in the UAE and must immediately report an STR to the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit. They should also advise the Central Bank when they are detected and closely monitor the relationship.

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Benjamin Filaferro