Thai banks probed over 'dirty money'

Thai banks probed over 'dirty money'

A bank customer uses an ATM in Bangkok. The Anti-Money Laundering Office is verifying a report that suspicious money transactions passed through several Thai banks. (Bangkok Post file photo)
A bank customer uses an ATM in Bangkok. The Anti-Money Laundering Office is verifying a report that suspicious money transactions passed through several Thai banks. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) is verifying an international report that four Thai banks were involved in suspicious financial transactions for almost two decades.

Acting Amlo secretary-general Preecha Charoensahayanont said on Tuesday that his office was discussing proper action with the Bank of Thailand and financial intelligence organisations.

"The information from the media has yet to be verified and no one knows if it came from an official intelligence organisation of the United States," he said.

He was referring to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists' report referring to alleged leaked files from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US.

The files allegedly indicated that many commercial banks worldwide turned a blind eye to suspicious financial transactions altogether worth about US$2 trillion from 1999 to 2017.

They included 92 transactions through four Thai banks. The transactions covered combined amounts of $41.31 billion -- $9.56 billion baht transferred in and $31.75 billion baht transferred out.

Pol Maj Gen Preecha said the verification would take time.

"There will be an appropriate response. It does not mean that whenever there is any news report, a big investigation will follow. That would cause panic," he said.


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