Thailand Plans to Regulate Cryptocurrency Under Its Anti-Money-Laundering Rules

While regulators across the globe are working on having separate laws for cryptocurrencies, Thailand mulls another option. Thailand’s Anti-Money-Laundering regulator plans to bring crypto currency monitoring under its own purview.

Thailand’s Police Major General Preecha Charoensahayanon, secretary-general of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo), told the Bangkok Post that while cryptocurrencies don't pose any potential threat at the moment, it still can be a tool for new money laundering activities.

Preecha confirmed that Amlo doesn’t have much complaints on the use of cryptocurrencies for money-laundering, but added: “We may not find any clue, but that doesn’t mean the wrongdoing does not occur.”

He believes that if this goes unnoticed, criminals will surely use digital assets to launder the dark money. Speaking to the publication, Preecha said that they are planning to tweak the existing laws and introduce crypto within Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Act.

He further added that the newly introduced rule will make it mandatory for crypto exchanges to report to Amlo. Moreover, they would also make sure that the legal changes are in correspondence with the international standards of crypto exchange service providers.

With the growing demand and use of cryptocurrencies, monitoring their daily activities has turned to be the utmost priority of global regulators. Last month in June 2019, global crypto regulator Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released a recommendation dubbed “virtual asset service providers” (VASPs) that mandates crypto exchanges to provide detailed information of funds transacted through their platforms and report the authorities in case of any suspicious activities.

The FATF has given a 12-month deadline to the exchanges wherein the exchanges are required to “… obtain and hold required and accurate originator [sender] information and required beneficiary [receipient] information and submit the information to beneficiary institutions … if any. Further, countries should ensure that beneficiary institutions … obtain and hold required (not necessarily accurate) originator information and required and accurate beneficiary information …”.

Thailand being a member nation of the FATF has to abide by the rules and thus the new crypto rules will also be in accordance with the FATF recommendations.