Thailand feels the pinch with threat of blacklist looming


BANGKOK, Oct 7 – Thai Justice Minister Pracha Promnok admitted today that Thailand needs to urgently issue two pieces of legislation to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put Thailand on its list of “high risk” countries last February over Thailand’s inability to enact additional money laundering laws to counter terrorist financing. Countries with a high risk status could face sanctions from the international community.

Pol Gen Pracha said there is an urgent need to enforce the laws as the negative impact on Thailand has intensified.

He said he recently informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of Thailand’s willingness to comply with the FATF’s policies though the laws involving anti-money laundering and the counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) will not be enforced by next February.

The IMF was asked to help Thailand by explaining to the FATF of the country’s ongoing attempts to follow the policies, he said.

The justice ministry said the Thai embassy in Washington, DC recently reported to Bangkok that a cheque was rejected by commercial banks in the US capital.

This is a bad sign and we have to speed up efforts to remove Thailand from the list, he said.