UAE’s New Reporting Conditions Will Fight Crypto Money Laundering

UAE’s New Reporting Conditions Will Fight Crypto Money Laundering

August 9, 2022 0 By Jeanine Sanchez

The new rules in the UAE demand that all brokers, law firms, and agents in the real estate sector should report every property deals that involve digital assets. The rules were instituted in the country on the 8th of August.

Taking a Step Ahead of Crime

The aim of the rules is to close in on money laundering activities. It will also help to clamp down on terrorism financing, according to the government.

While Abu Dhabi and Dubai are carrying out projects to draw crypto businesses, some real estate firms and developers have indicated their interest in accepting crypto. The luxurious asset developer, DAMAC, is part of such real estate firms. The firm said in April that will accept payments in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The UAE is now out to make that anti-money laundering and anti-terror finance mechanisms in the region also cover digital tokens. The new conditions for reporting were announced by the Ministries of Justice and Economy in conjunction with the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

The government also had a consultation with the AML and CFL offices.

Accordingly, real estate players are now mandated to report every transaction bordering on real estate and cryptocurrencies to the Financial Intelligence Unit. The transactions include those where payments are made either fully or in part, equivalent to or more than AED 55,000. The payment could either be in cryptocurrencies or money got from the sales of crypto.

An Improved Intelligence on the Way

Eventually, all crypto transactions on real estate, no matter how little, will have to be reported. All real estate players are also required to report the identity and such necessary details of the entities involved in the transaction. The rule applies to both corporate and individual entities purchasing or selling any property in the country.

The Minister of Justice, Al Nuaimi mentioned in a statement that the rule will help the UAE protect against emerging dangers. The Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit stated that the rule will help improve the quality of available financial intelligence.

The unit head, Faisal Ba’Alawi, said further that new intelligence so obtained will help the investigation and trace the movement of suspicious money. All this will aid the fight against terrorism financing and money laundering.

The government announced that it is organizing workshops where it will educate real estate players and get them ready for the task ahead. The new requirements will leave no room for manipulation, the Minister of the Economy, Al Marri, said.