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C. Enforcement, Fines and Penalties

Effective from Feb 07 2023 - Jun 04 2023
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1. VARA may, in its sole and absolute discretion, take enforcement actions against any Entity in the event of the following—
  a. for violation of any law [including the Dubai VA Law and Federal AML-CFT Laws];
  b. for any violation of these Regulations, or any Rules or Directives;
  c. on any ground on which VARA might refuse to issue a Licence under these Regulations;
  d. for Good Cause; and
  e. other grounds determined by VARA in exercising its powers, performing its functions or fulfilling its objectives under the Dubai VA Law.
2. Such enforcement actions may include but are not limited to—
  a. issuing written reprimands;
  b. issuing enforcement notices requiring non-compliance to be rectified within a specified period of time;
  c. limiting or revising the scope of any Virtual Assets or VA Activities under a Licence;
  d. suspending or revoking a Licence;
  e. requiring a VASP to cease any VA Activity or other business activity, either for a specified or indefinite period of time;
  f. requiring any Entity to stop or refrain from doing or continuing to do any acts and seek a preliminary injunction or other legal means when necessary to restrain such Entity, when deemed by VARA to be in the public interest;
  g. imposing fines or other civil penalties in accordance with Schedule 3 to these Regulations or otherwise published by VARA from time to time;
  h. undertaking additional supervision, monitoring or reporting requirements; and
  i. any other enforcement action determined by VARA.
3. VARA may impose fines, civil penalties or other enforcement actions directly against the Responsible Individuals of a VASP.
4. VARA will consider the full circumstances of each case when determining whether or not to issue a fine and the amount thereof. VARA may do this either in conjunction with, or independently of, any other type of enforcement action as set out in Regulation IX.C.2. The types of factors which will be evaluated include—
  a. the nature, seriousness and impact of the violation;
  b. whether any action constitutes a violation of a Market Offence;
  c. the conduct of the Entity after the violation and throughout any investigation or examination by VARA;
  d. the previous disciplinary record and compliance history of the Entity or relevant individual[s];
  e. the interpretation and application of VARA published materials including Guidance, industry codes and other such materials as may be published from time to time; and
  f. any action taken by VARA or by other domestic or international regulatory bodies in similar cases.
5. Grievances. VARA may establish a committee or other body to hear grievances or complaints in respect of any enforcement action it has taken, the details of which shall be published by VARA from time to time.