Terror groups hit with Thai finance ban

The Justice Ministry will announce on Tuesday a list of 291 international terrorists and terrorist organisations to be banned from conducting financial transactions in Thailand.

  • Published: 23/04/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Seehanat: Hopes to win over FATF

The announcement is aimed at convincing the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that Thailand is cracking down on money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

The terrorist blacklist was obtained from the UN's Security Council, according to Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) secretary-general Pol Col Seehanat Prayoonrat.

The Foreign Ministry forwarded the list to Amlo, which verified the names.

Justice Minister Pracha Promnok will announce today that the people and organisations on the list will be banned from carrying out financial transactions here.

Pol Col Seehanat said Monday the list of terrorists includes only foreign groups and individuals.

"The list does not include Thai terrorist groups or Thai nationals," he said.

The blacklist comprises 227 individuals and 64 organisations, he said.

After the announcement, the government will report its action to the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) in Sydney. The group's next meeting will be held in Shanghai in July.

The government is trying to prove to the FATF that it is implementing its new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws.

The FATF is the global body that sets standards for anti-money laundering and terrorism finance laws.

In February last year, the FATF named Thailand as one of 15 countries on its dark-grey list due to its failure to take adequate steps against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The FATF in February agreed to upgrade Thailand's status from dark grey to grey following the passage of two bills to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Thailand hopes the changes in the laws will help convince the FATF to remove Thailand from its watchlist.

The FATF will send a team to visit Thailand next month to evaluate the measures and how well they are being enforced.

Pol Gen Pracha has said previously he hopes the FATF will not include the government's negotiations with the southern insurgency movement and violence in the far South in its consideration of activities relating to money laundering in Thailand.

Thailand says its removal from the list would be a big boost as it prepares to join the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

Justice Minister Pracha said the Amlo secretary-general will present the blacklist to him Tuesday at 1pm. Amlo will publish the list later on its website.

Amlo also plans to announce the names of about 4,000 Thais who will be banned from financial transactions.

Those on the list comprise those wanted under arrest warrants for being involved in terrorist acts and those who fund terrorists. The government will seek approval from the Civil Court this month to announce the first 100 names, including southern insurgents.

Amlo says it has detected unusual money transactions in the southern border provinces and suspects they are related to terrorism activities and illicit businesses in the region.

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Writer: King-oua Laohong
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