All gold refiners in the UAE are required to bring third-party auditors on board from January 2024 and submit audited reports until March next year, a senior Ministry of Economy official on Tuesday.

“All refineries should hire external approved auditors. By Q1 2024, we are expecting to receive auditing reports from those refineries,” Safeya Al Safi, director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department at the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, said while at the Dubai Precious Metals Conference on Tuesday.

She added that the external auditors will evaluate the risk management of the refiners and it would be mentioned in the report and submitted to the Ministry of Economy.

While delivering a welcome address at the conference, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman and CEO of Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC), said two more gold refineries are expected to have a presence in the free zone.

Safeya Al Safi further highlighted that it is mandatory to adhere to responsible sourcing regulations for all licensed refineries in the mainland and free zones.

She pointed out that the Ministry conducts onsite as well as offsite visits to ensure compliance with the regulations. The ministry conducted 440 onsite inspections in 2022 and it plans to carry out 3,336 inspections this year. It had carried out 3,173 inspections until October 2023. The Ministry planned to conduct 2,225 offsite inspections in 2023 and has accomplished 6,342 inspections by October 2023.

She added that minimal elements of the audit reports shall include management systems, risk assessment and risk management.

She stressed that the ministry is also checking the due diligence measures taken by companies of their customers.

The director of the AML Department asked companies to raise suspicious transactions of the customers to concern authorities.

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