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A proposed amendment in Thailand’s Money Laundering Act was approved by the cabinet to include additional offenses and is aimed at improving AML standards to prevent crimes.
According to the deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek, the nation’s Money Laundering Act will now cover a wider range of offenses including tax evasion, loan sharking, and pornography trading. These efforts are being made after suggestions from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Submitted by the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), the amendments will help ensure the implementation of global standards to counter money laundering and terrorism financing. As Ms. Ratchada said,” after the bill is passed, it will serve as a tool for the government to combat crimes and will also help improve the image of Thailand”.
The description for a “predicate offense” in the Money Laundering Act will be amended to include document forgery, trade of digital assets, child pornography trade, loan sharking, and bid-rigging. Moreover, the description for “profession” will also be altered to provide a clear understanding to Thai businesses.
According to Bangkok Post, new constraints will be added to include crimes like identity fraud, manipulation in banking transactions, and corrupt officials obscuring their own identities to defraud clients. Fines of up to 60,000 baht, imprisonment of up to three years, or both will be imposed on offenders of this amendment to the law.
Furthermore, guidance will be provided to businesses and financial institutions regarding the confidentiality and safekeeping of their customers’ personal information. The amendment will also allow customs personnel to seize international currency and cross-border negotiable items.
Data collection measures concerning customs officials will also be amended to include new constraints. The proposed bill will also prevent the exploitation of non-profit organizations by bad actors as a cover for money laundering and terrorism financing.
Lastly, a summary budget will be required annually through which the Anti-Money laundering Office will be able to keep track of suspicious transactions.