News

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC Jersey Branch Pleaded Guilty – the court judgement is available

03/03/2020

On the 5th February The Jersey Royal Court Sentenced Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC Jersey Branch [following a guilty plea]

The published judgement shows the following charge:

1 count of:

  • Failing to maintain appropriate and consistent policies and procedures relating to customer due diligence measures and risk assessment and management in order to prevent and detect money laundering, as required by Article 11(1) a and (f) and Article 11(3)(a) of the Money Laundering (Jersey) Order 2008, contrary to Article 37(4) of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999 (Count 1).

Further, in sentencing the Bailiff stated the reasons for the sentence will be delivered on a subsequent occasion.  This is an important matter, it represents one of the few cases in this area and we wish to give fuller reasons than normally would be the case.

Details of Offence:

  1. In the case of two Middle Eastern customers, Mr A and Mr B, between 2013 and 2019 Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Jersey failed to
    • apply adequate monitoring of account activity and failed to assess the risk of money laundering adequately.
  2. In both cases large amounts of cash, in the tens of thousands of US dollars each time, were withdrawn over a period of years from the customer's Jersey bank accounts, without sufficient scrutiny of what the money was being used for.
    • The total amount of cash withdrawn was over USD 1.2m (a little under £1m).
  3. In the case of Mr A, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Jersey:
    • failed to detect and react to changes in the account activity;
    • failed to identify, investigate, or prevent a number of large cash withdrawals from the account over a period of years; and
    • allowed a situation to continue where thousands of dollars in cash were still withdrawn from the account even while earlier withdrawals of large sums of cash were being investigated.
  4. In the case of Mr B, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Jersey:
    • failed to gain a full understanding of Mr B’s source of funds and source of wealth, despite his status as an increased risk customer;
    • failed to keep up to date information on Mr B’s
      1. country of residence,
      2. employment and
  • state of health;
  • failed to detect and react to changes in Mr B’s account activity;
  • failed to identify, investigate, or prevent a number of large cash withdrawals by Mr B; and
  • allowed a situation to continue where Mr B was still permitted to withdraw thousands of dollars in cash while he was being investigated for exactly the same account activity and there was reason to believe he lacked capacity to operate his account.

THE BAILIFF also says

  1. Reasons for the sentence will be delivered on a subsequent occasion.  This is an important matter, it represents one of the few cases in this area and we wish to give fuller reasons than normally would be the case.
  2. In our judgment the correct level of fine is one of £475,000 and that is the fine that we impose.
  3. We also make an order for the payment of costs in the sum of £25,000 allowing 21 days for the necessary arrangements to be made for the payment of both of those sums.

https://www.jerseylaw.je/judgments/unreported/Pages/[2020]JRC022.aspx