The country of Thailand plans to introduce new anti-money-laundering policies to tie into their already established cryptocurrency laws and regulations. The goal is to prevent fraud while providing a framework for companies to take advantage of digital assets.Pol Maj Gen Preecha Charoensahayanon, the acting secretary-general of Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo,) spoke to local publication the Bangkok Post regarding the changes. There, Preecha had said that these rules are coming because they need to “brace for” emerging technologies and digital assets. Interestingly, the space doesn’t receive many complaints regarding cryptocurrencies, but it doesn’t want to ignore them. “We may not find any clue, but that doesn’t mean the wrongdoing does not occur,” he says. He already knows that cryptocurrencies are “a tool of new money laundering.” These new changes will append to the already established Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act but just apply to cryptocurrency exchanges and associated companies. All of these groups must report to Amlo regarding anything suspicious happening on their platform so they can track and tend to the situation. It’s also worth noting that these rules would comply with international AML standards that have companies reporting suspicious customers and activities to those in power. Preecha has been focusing on the space since last year, when a businessman, Prinya Jaravijit, tricked an investor, Aarni Otava Saarimaa, into putting 797 million baht into Bitcoin to buy company shares. Jaravijit took the Bitcoin, leaving Saarimaa helpless.
The Crime Suppression Division handled the case, not Amlo, but Preecha realized that Bitcoin and other assets can be used for scamming. “We have to brace for it,” Preecha says. Of course, these rules have yet to see approval, but chances are high considering the country has already dealt with cryptocurrency threats. Also, Thailand is a member of the globally spread Financial Action Task Force (FATF,) who just put out that participants should be watching over cryptocurrency platforms and suspicious activity. What do you think of Thailand’s changes? Will they deter money-laundering and other illegal activities? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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