The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution has ordered the detention of an employee at the UAE General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, who was charged with money laundering.
A UAE-based bank reported to the UAE Central Bank’s Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit about suspected transactions in the defendant’s account. The report noted that deposits in his account raised questions in light of his job and salary, which reached Dh6.6 million in just over a year, from February 2011 to April 2012. These deposits were made from various locations in the country, but when the bank asked him, the man failed to present the bank with any documentation to verify the origin of such funds.
As a result, the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit referred the case to the Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution.
When questioned by the Finance Prosecution, the defendant, an Arab employee, admitted doing a business without having a commercial licence. He used to receive funds from his compatriots working in the UAE to send money back to their families against a certain percentage of the amounts. He said money exchanges in the UAE did not send money to his country.
Furthermore, the accused admitted lending money on Islamic profit basis used in Islamic banks, charging profit rates between four and six per cent, and collect cheques or trust receipts as a security.
An official from the Abu Dhabi Attorney-General’s Office asked all residents to make any fund transfer through legally licensed businesses. Fund transfers through unlicensed agents may involve them in suspected transactions. Also, every account owner needs to verify the origin of any funds deposited in his/hers bank account, in order to avoid possible legal action.