Cryptocurrency crime in Thailand has been on the rise because of the lack of strict regulatory measures.
To counter them, the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) is considering its own crypto wallet.
In fact, according to The Nation which is Thailand’s leading newspaper, Thailand has been trying to clean its crypto industry by creating new laws on ICOs and exchange since July this year.
According to AMLO’s secretary, Witthaya Neetitham, “Discussions to create our own AMLO Wallet have been going on. The Wallet will be used to confiscate and hold cryptocurrencies from illegal sources.” The regulatory office has also requested Thai’s parliament to create a law that will allow the agency to seize or even freeze cryptocurrencies used for illegal activities. At the moment authorities in Thailand cannot touch digital currencies belonging to criminals because there is no supporting law.
Crypto related laws and regulations
The lack of supporting law proved costly during the arrest of a criminal found to be operating a child porn website.
The Moldovan national was earning $3,749,240 worth of Bitcoin each year. The police could not confiscate the Bitcoin found in his e-wallet because the law did not allow. According to Pol Captain Ekkanit Natethong: “We found Bitcoin in the criminal’s wallet but had to leave it there because no law supports its seizure.”
Witthaya noted that AMLO is working on measures to regulate crime involving cryptocurrencies which operate under the Securities and Exchange Commission. He added that it will be difficult to handle digital currencies which are not in the system. Cryptocurrencies are known to be highly anonymous making it hard to trace suspected criminals in the sector.
Witthaya added that, “The biggest challenge with cryptocurrencies is the difficulty in discovering transaction identity. It’s very hard to convince judges with evidence that does not have an identity.”
Thailand has recorded a lot of scams involving digital currencies. These scams operate by luring people to invest in Bitcoin projects with the promise of huge rewards. The deputy commander of Narcotics Suppression Bureau, Pol Colonel Pisal Erb-Arb noted that Thai needs quick regulations. He added that at the moment the country is a haven for terrorism financing through money laundering.
Pisal teamed up with FBI detectives arresting Alexander Cazes the founder of AlphaBay. Before the arrest, AlphaBay had carried out transactions worth $1 billion in digital currencies. There are many other websites in the darknet conducting illegal crypto-related transactions with the owners still anonymous.
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