The Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT) has banned a former executive of advisory and asset management firm La Tresorerie from holding office and carrying out financial service activities. A fine of $175,000 was also imposed.

Giles Rollet, former senior executive officer and director of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) registered firm appealed to the tribunal after action was taken against him by Dubai Financial Service Authority (DFSA).

But, he was was fined $175,000, banned from holding office or being employed by certain DFSA-regulated entities or from carrying out financial service activities in DIFC as a result of his involvement in $7 million of physical cash withdrawals under an unlawful cash service. 

The DFSA took action against him in 2020 for multiple breaches of authority legislation, arising from his knowing involvement in La Tresorerie (liquidated in March 2021) by providing physical cash to its clients in breach of DFSA Rules. 

The authority said Rollet was involved in unlawful cash service between 2015 and 2017, including using false invoices and transferring client money without knowledge or consent to unregulated companies outside DIFC, and, the transportation of large amounts of physical cash from the UAE to foreign countries, an activity which it said was associated with a high risk of money laundering.

Rollet, a banker with more than 25 years experience, appealed the DFSA’s action at the end of last year to the FMT, but the tribunal has now announced that action has been upheld andimposed the sanctions. 

A statement from the FMT Said: “Mr Rollet, a senior banker, did not need compliance training to know full well that these cash schemes were obviously improper and a potential vehicle for serious crime. 

“This was a brazen disregard of important principles by a senior executive. The financial system only works if its key players are fit and proper and Mr Rollet demonstrated to us that in these matters he was neither. There has been no recognition by Mr Rollet of the seriousness of these matters.”

In its press release, the DFSA said Rollet had misled the authority as to his actions related to the unlawful cash service involving the use of his personal bank account and the delivery by him of physical cash to LT (La Tresorerie) clients overseas, seeking to shift responsibility to others. 

“As the FMT has pointed out, an SEO should be particularly watchful about all matters of regulation, including smaller but high-risk areas of their business,” said Christopher Calabia, chief executive, DFSA.

“As an experienced financial services professional, Mr Rolletwas well aware of compliance matters and, in particular, the risks of dealing with physical cash.  

“The Unlawful Cash Service created client money and financial crime risks that were as obvious as they were unacceptable.  Any individual who displays such lack of integrity has no place in Financial Services in the DIFC.”

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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