Thailand to Bring in Tougher AML Laws

May 18, 2012 Taxation in Thailand

Money Laundering in ThailandThe government of Thailand is taking rapid action to amend its anti-money laundering legislations, and hopes to enact stricter laws against such illicit activities before the end of the year.

On May 17th the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Kittiratt Na-Ranong revealed that urgent action has been initiated to strengthen the country’s legislations against money laundering in order to ensure that Thailand is not demoted to the “blacklist” of nations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

According to Kittiratt Na-Ranong, two new draft bills have already been submitted to the cabinet to amend the national Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act. The two acts are scheduled to be presented to parliament later this year. It is hoped that if the bills are approved,Thailand will be removed from the FATF’s list of uncooperative countries.

The Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to hold a meeting on May 19th with the Joint Private Standing Committee, which is comprised of the three largest business associations in Thailand, to discuss the importance of implementing the revised AML laws. Earlier this week the Committee said that it would urge the Prime Minister to take all necessary steps to ensure that the new laws are instated and active before February 2013.

Earlier this week the secretary-general of Thailand’s Anti-Money -Laundering Office (AMLO) Sihanart Prayoonrat held a press conference, in which he claimed that Thailand’s inclusion in the FATF “grey list” of uncooperative countries has already created problems for the national tourism industry, as it makes it more difficult for money to be transferred into and out of the country.

In February this year the FATF labelled Thailand as a nation which has …” not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or have not committed to an action plan developed with the FATF to address the deficiencies.”

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