UAE Drug Laws: Legal Consequences of Money Transfers Related to Drugs

criminal law


December 18, 2023



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The fight against drug-related crimes, with a particular focus on the financial aspects associated with narcotics and psychotropic substances. Federal Decree-Law No. 30 of 2021 On Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances has introduced penalties for individuals involved in money transfers related to drug abuse and trafficking.

Article 64 of the Federal Decree-Law

Article 64 of Federal Decree-Law No. 30/2021, outlines the legal consequences for those who engage in activities related to the deposit or transfer of funds, either personally or through a third party, with the intent to commit drug-related offences. Such offences primarily revolve around the abuse or personal use of narcotics and psychotropic substances. Anyone found guilty of these activities will face penalties, including imprisonment or a fine of not less than fifty thousand dirhams.

Article 74 of the Federal Decree-Law

Furthermore, Article 74 of the Decree-Law imposes a significant restriction on individuals convicted of drug-related offences. Those found guilty are prohibited from transferring or depositing funds to a third party, whether in person or through a third party, without obtaining prior permission from the UAE Central Bank, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior. This prohibition remains in effect for a period of 2 years following the execution of the penalty. It may prevent any further involvement in drug-related activities by convicted individuals.

Article 65 of the Federal Decree-Law

In addition to these regulations, Article 65 of the Decree Law underlines the seriousness of possessing or concealing funds believed to be the proceeds of drug-related crimes. If there is sufficient evidence or assumption that the funds in question are linked to such offences, the offender may face imprisonment and a fine of not less than one hundred thousand dirhams.

The UAE's commitment to combating drug-related offences extends to the use of modern technology as well. Article 98 of the Federal Decree-Law No. 30 of 2021 states that the Ministry of Health and Community Protection and the Ministry of Interior employ an electronic system to track and monitor various stages of drug production, manufacture, import, export, transport, storage, supply, distribution, trafficking, or dealing. This electronic monitoring ensures a comprehensive approach to tackling drug-related crimes, leaving no room for illegal activities to go unnoticed.


In conclusion, Federal Decree-Law No. 30 of 2021 outlines that drug-related offences, including financial transactions, will not be tolerated. The law stipulates penalties, encompassing imprisonment and fines, for those engaged in money transfers related to drugs.

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