Thailand presses on to get off money laundering blacklist


Thailand is set to announce the first batch of 100 “terrorists” in an attempt to be removed from a blacklist by a global intergovernmental organization, the Thai justice minister said last week.

Pracha Promnok said the government will actively enforce two recently-passed pieces of legislation on money laundering and financing terrorism and make public the names of those implicated in financial support for terrorists.

The move is in compliance with the global network Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which will assign a team of experts to Thailand next month to check if the country has fully implemented the laws which involve coordinated actions by 135 state agencies.

The team will submit its findings to the FATF meeting in Norway in June when a decision is expected on whether Thailand will be removed from the “grey list.”

Sihanart Prayoonrat, secretary general of the Anti-Money Laundering Office, said over 4,000 people are on the government’s watch list while the first group of 100 people will be publicly named later this month.

He said the government’s suppression of money laundering and terrorism financing will continue nationwide including the three provinces in Thailand’s restive South which have reported money transactions at unusually high levels.

Transactions in the three provinces are over Bt1 billion higher than in the border trading provinces of Ranong opposite Myanmar and Sa Kaeo on the Thai-Cambodian border, he said.