Thailand to Combat Illicit Use of Digital Currencies

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

05 August 2019,
Thailand to Combat Illicit Use of Digital Currencies

The Thailand Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) will soon amend rules to regulate the illicit use of digital currencies, according to the agency’s secretary-general, Pol Maj Gen Preecha Charoensahayanon.

Preecha disclosed this in an interview, adding that cryptocurrencies are new challenges for the AMLO. 

"It will be a tool of new money laundering," the news outlet Bangkok Post quoted the top official as saying.

Thailand will now try to resolve the issue in connection with crypto playing the unfamiliar role of probing new hideouts in the cyber world.

The amendment is said to correspond with international standards that regulate crypto service providers and demands they scrutinize their customers' behavior and report irregular transactions to authorities.

Such a strategy, according to Gen Preecha, is essential because cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous, and hard for the authorities to trace like traditional financial transactions.

"That's why we're amending laws to prepare us for new online missions," he said.

Before amending the laws, the top AMLO chief said his agency would have to review the existing anti-money laundering act and add a section that will require cryptocurrency exchange services providers to report activities to the office.

With such provision, AMLO officers to keep track of changes in currency formats. The information is essential for the authorities to trace money activities on internet-based platforms, he added.

Conclusively, Gen Preecha outlined that they would be cautious to avoid facing counter-lawsuits by suspects. AMLO officers will stick to laws that allow them to exercise power on 28 offenses, including drug trade and cheating.

"We'll also try not to unveil details of some crucial cases," to avoid exposing itself to conflicts with accused people, he added.

Meanwhile, although Thailand is looking to crack down on bad crypto actors, the country is also providing room for legitimate crypto businesses. In January, reported that Thailand approved four cryptocurrency exchanges.


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