Coworth Fintech owner Stuart Coles has been hit with a $240,000 fine by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
Coles, who is also the director of Coworth Fintech Ltd. – a Dubai-based company – became the target of DFSA investigations in April of last year.
The fine was in relation to suspicions that his business had not been authorised to operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – a special economic zone that allows for 100% ownership over companies without the need for a local partner.
Investigations span across Coles’ multiple registered companies – with Coworth Fintech being first on the list, followed by Novus Fintech, with agents moving down to Coworth Investments as well.
Both of the fintech companies’ offices were visited by DFSA personnel earlier in May in the search of documents relating to the investigation. Reports say that Coles had instructed employees to refuse access to any corporate information, which prompted the fine due to failure to comply without sufficient reasoning.
Patrick Meaney, Head of Enforcement at the DFSA, said: “The DFSA will not permit individuals or companies to obstruct lawful investigations. Such behaviour undermines the core objectives of the DFSA and demonstrates that those engaging in this conduct are entirely unsuitable to carry out business in the DIFC.
“The significant fine imposed on Mr Coles also demonstrates that the DFSA will take appropriate action against individuals that are most culpable for misconduct”.