UAE Central Bank cautions on Iran links

Banks told to freeze accounts of those with UN-listed connections.

The UAE Central bank has told all financial institutions in the country, including banks, to freeze all accounts and stop remittances in the names of entities and individuals mentioned by the UN Security Council based on its Resolution 1929 on Iran connection.

In a circular sent to all banks, moneychangers, investment and finance companies and other financing entities operating in the UAE, the Central Bank has stated that the move was "based on the Resolution 1929 [2010] adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations at its 6335th meeting on June 9, 2010 regarding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons".

The Dubai Financial Services Authority also on June 20 warned companies based in the free zone to conduct risk assessment when dealing with banks and other clients domiciled in Iran.

It said companies should "ensure that the due diligence processes for each correspondent bank domiciled in Iran has been completed, consistent with the enhanced due diligence procedures".

The Central Bank circular said that all financial institutions regulated by it are required to freeze any accounts, deposits and stop any remittances in the names of the (natural/juridical) persons/entities mentioned under three annexes to the Security Council Resolution – designated as being involved in the Iranian nuclear or ballistic missile activities.

While the Annexe 1 contains 22 entities and one individual involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities, the Annexe 2 has 15 entities that owned, controlled or are acting on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Annexe 3 has three entities that are owned, controlled or acting on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

The circular clearly states that the financial institutions mentioned by the Central Bank should freeze immediately such funds received from the natural/juridical persons mentioned in the enclosures or in their favour.

However, the circular has warned these institutions against freezing any account or preventing receipt of any funds unless the related names and details conform exactly, beyond any doubt, to the details mentioned in the enclosures.

The apex bank said the financial institutions shall contact the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit at the Central Bank in order to clear any doubts on the same by providing with its relevant statements.


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