Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Thailand

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report

Thailand is a centrally located Southeast Asian country with extremely porous borders. Thailand is vulnerable to money laundering within its own economy, as well as to many categories of cross-border crime, including illicit narcotics, wildlife trafficking, and other contraband smuggling. Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for international migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons, a production and distribution center for counterfeit consumer goods, and a center for the production and sale of fraudulent travel documents. The proceeds of illegal gaming, official corruption, underground lotteries, and prostitution are laundered through the country’s financial system. The Thai black market includes a wide range of pirated and smuggled goods, from counterfeit medicines to luxury automobiles.

Money launderers and traffickers use banks, non-bank financial institutions, and businesses to move the proceeds of narcotics trafficking and other criminal enterprises. In the informal money changing sector, hawaladars service Middle Eastern travelers in Thailand. Thai and Chinese underground remittance systems are also prevalent.

For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found at: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/

Do FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONs engage in currency transactions related to international narcotics trafficking that include significant amounts of US currency; currency derived from illegal sales in the U.S.; or illegal drug sales that otherwise significantly affect the U.S.: NO

criminalizATION OF money laundering:

“All serious crimes” approach or “list” approach to predicate crimes: List approach

Are legal persons covered: criminally: YES civilly: YES

Know-your-customer (KYC) rules:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: YES Domestic: YES

KYC covered entities: Commercial and state-owned banks, finance and personal loan companies, mortgage finance companies, securities dealers, insurance companies, money exchangers and remitters, asset management companies, jewelry and gold shops, automotive hire-purchase businesses or car dealers, real estate agents/brokers, antique shops, electronic card and payment businesses, credit card businesses

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 11,384: October 1, 2014 – August 31, 2015

Number of CTRs received and time frame: 1,114,032: October 1, 2014 – August 31, 2015

STR covered entities: Commercial and state-owned banks, finance companies, insurance companies, savings cooperatives, securities firms, asset management companies, mortgage finance companies, land registration offices, moneychangers, remittance agents, jewelry and gold shops, automotive hire-purchase businesses and car dealerships, real estate agents and brokers, antique shops, personal loan companies, and electronic payment and credit card companies

money laundering criminal Prosecutions/convictions:

Prosecutions: 15: October 1, 2014 - November 5, 2015

Convictions: 0: October 1, 2014 - November 5, 2015

Records exchange mechanism:

With U.S.: MLAT: YES Other mechanism: YES

With other governments/jurisdictions: YES

Thailand is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), a FATF-style regional body. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: http://www.apgml.org/members-and-observers/members/member-documents.aspx?m=6ff62559-9485-4e35-bf65-305f07d91b05

Enforcement and implementation issues and comments:

On October 9, 2015, Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) No. 5 went into effect. In addition to adding offenses related to human trafficking and online gambling to the list of predicate offenses, this act calls for the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), which serves as Thailand’s financial intelligence unit, to now report directly to the Prime Minister. AMLO’s responsibilities and scope are expanded to include the authority to formulate joint action plans in collaboration with other relevant agencies; the authority to promote public engagement; the authority to change the composition and duties of the Anti-Money Laundering Board so as to be more effective in decision making; the authority to empower the transaction committee to issues guidelines for more effective implementation; and an expanded scope of examination and supervision duties for AMLO, to include money laundering/financial transactions national risk assessments, as well as the ability to share risk assessment results with supervisory and other relevant agencies. The AMLA No. 5 also strengthens the reporting regime and KYC and customer due diligence measures and applies them to all designated non-financial businesses and professions, such as real estate agents and precious metal and stone dealers; adds persons who provide legal remittance and currency exchange as reporting entities; expands the money laundering offense to cover persons who obtain, possess, or use assets, knowing at the time that they are connected with the commission of a predicate offense; and establishes measures allowing for the return, or repayment of the value of, assets connected with commission of an offense to the damaged person, as well as witness protection. AMLA No. 5 also allows international asset sharing and recovery.

AMLO is further expected to name tax evasion as a predicate offense and to address cross-border bulk cash movement. AMLO is in the process of formulating the amendment. Operationally, Thailand’s AML regime appears to be continuing its longstanding focus on civil asset seizure and forfeiture as well as criminal enforcement.

On September 9, 2015, Counter Terrorism Act No. 2 B.E. 2558 (CTA No. 2) went into effect, replacing the original Counter Terrorism Act. CTA No. 2 includes amended Rules and Procedures for Notifications of Designations in accordance with UNSCR standards. Specifically, the law was amended to streamline the process for adopting the UNSCR list; empower AMLO to keep monitoring UNSC designation notifications; require AMLO to order designation of persons and entities without delay when AMLO deems such notification does not go against the Thai constitution or law; removing the stipulation that a person or entity’s terrorist involvement up to the day of the court’s decision must be proven in order for the civil court to order designation of that person or entity on the Thai domestic list; require AMLO to continue to publish both UN and domestic designations but to only serve notice of the designation to those on the domestic list; and make holders of assets of a designated person or entity, agents of the designated person or entity, or undertakings controlled by the designated person or entity subject to sanctions if they fail to follow asset freezing orders.