E-money providers ordered to watch for gambling money transfers

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BANGKOK, June 10 — Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has ordered eight electronic money service providers to watch out for World Cup gambling money transfers.

AMLO Secratry-General Pol Col Seehanat Prayoonrat said his office issued the order to Thai Smart Card Co, ViA Card (Thailand) Co, Advanced mPay Co, Advanced Magic Card Co, PaysBuy Co, TrueMoney Co, Bangkok Smartcard System Co, and IP Payment Solution Co.

Their managers were ordered to report unusual money transfers and payments through their systems to AMLO. Failing to do so, the firms can be liable to lump sum fines of up to Bt500,000 or a Bt5,000 fine per card per transfer.

Col Seehanat also said online gambling turnovers amounted to Bt100 million-1 billion and that online gambling in Thailand was different from that overseas as it involved money transfers through e-money systems.

In countries such as Singapore and Japan, online gamblers used Bitcoin and virtual currency, Col Seehanat said.

AMLO will seize hundreds of bank accounts suspected of being used for illicit business, including call center scams and drug trafficking. He said that most were Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn Bank accounts.