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UAE to raise anti-money laundering awareness based on upcoming law on fundraising

Non-profit organisations operating in the UAE must exercise due diligence to avoid any wrongdoings related to money laundering, and relevant authorities are taking the necessary steps in this regard, including legal measures and awareness raising, a senior official told Emirates News Agency (WAM).

“In parallel with these initiatives and awareness series organised by the Ministry of Community Development (MOCD), we must refer to a new federal law being formulated by the ministry, named ‘Fundraising Regulatory Law,’ which will stipulate a set of conditions and regulations for licensed charitable and humanitarian authorities within the UAE,” said Nasser Ismail, Assistant Undersecretary of Social Welfare at the MOCD, and Member of National Committee for Countering Money Laundering.

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Series of awareness programmes based on upcoming law

In an exclusive statement issued to WAM on Monday, the official explained that the Ministry will soon announce another series of awareness programmes about the new law that will aim to ensure the safety, security and stability of the community in the first place. These measures will support social development and encourage humanitarian giving, based on the values and traditions of the Emirati society, he added.

The Ministry has already been organising workshops targeting regulatory authorities that are responsible for overseeing and monitoring non-profit associations all over the UAE, Ismail noted.

“This step comes as part of the ministry’s efforts to abide by the international standards of countering money laundering, terrorism financing and weapons proliferation as issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF),” he emphasised.

The FATF is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. The inter-governmental body sets international standards that aim to prevent these illegal activities and the harm they cause to society.

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UAE non-profits to follow global standards

The official pointed out that, “Our target is to ensure that international standards are applied practically and comprehensively by non-profit associations, thereby preventing any unacceptable abuses, errors or practices in this context. These standards that are adopted by the Ministry will form a basis for regulatory authorities that are responsible for supervising and monitoring non-profit associations.”

He said the Ministry’s workshops aim at ultimately controlling, regulating, and ensuring the compliance of non-profit associations. “The Ministry is committed to increase and enhance the awareness of all regulatory authorities for overseeing and monitoring non-profit associations, by increasing their awareness of all laws and regulations related to countering money laundering, combating financing of terrorism and illegal organisations in the UAE; this definitely reflects the impact of reducing financial support of terrorism in all forms,” Ismail explained.

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UAE’s commitment to international laws

He stressed that the UAE is committed to enforce international laws and regulations on countering money laundering and financing terrorism. “This means that the UAE supervisory authorities must achieve all the objectives and competences in accordance with the enforced legislations in the UAE, particularly those related to risk assessment, supervision and monitoring,” the official noted.

The Ministry’s initiatives involve more training for all relevant parties as well. “On ground, we have initiatives and legislations as well as more training plans with all competent authorities, whether associations or supervisory bodies in local governments and all over the UAE.”

“These measures will certainly help achieve full compliance with the standards to ensure the stability, safety and happiness of the community in the first place,” the official said.

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By Binsal Abdulkader, October 11, 2021,  published on WAM

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