Thailand’s AML agency to build wallet for Bitcoin seized from illegal sources
Thailand's Anti-Money Laundering Office [AMLO] has planned to build a cryptocurrency wallet for seizing Bitcoin [BTC] to prevent crime. The anti-money laundering agency is planning to close a loophole which would allow cyber-criminals to be penalized for illegal activities, but would let them maintain their digital asset holdings.
According to the secretary of Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), Witthaya Neetitham, the government agency is planning on setting up its own cryptocurrency wallet for the purposes of tackling crime relating to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Witthaya Neetitham, secretary of AMLO, clarified that the purpose of setting up the crypto wallet is to seize cryptocurrencies from criminal sources. The statements were made in a seminar on the legal system and cryptocurrency crime held in Bangkok, The Nation reported.
Currently, as per Thai regulations, such confiscation is limited only to physical assets. Cyber-criminals in the country have either been arrested or deported, which usually leaves their digital assets untouched.
Recently, an operator of a website dealing with child porn was arrested, but his Bitcoins were not seized due to the gap in legislation.
Crypto crimes set to rise in Thailand
AMLO’s plans come less than a week since the executive director of the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ), Kittipong Kittayarak, stated that crypto-related crime is tipped to rise in the Asian country in the coming years.
“In Thailand, there are very few criminal cases related to cryptocurrencies yet the number of cases is expected to rise,” he cautioned in a recent seminar.
Citing a study jointly conducted by the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and TIJ, he pointed out that Thai regulators were facing hurdles in combating crypto-related crime.
“This includes human resource constraints, a lack of effective inter-agency communication due to officials’ lack of proficiency in foreign languages, and bureaucratic red tape,” Kittayarak said.
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