Dirty money techniques 'complicated'

Dirty money techniques 'complicated'

Money laundering techniques keep changing and, with the emergence of the commodity trade system criminal syndicates, have a new method to launder their proceeds, Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya says. 

Speaking after the opening of an international meeting on money laundering and terrorist financing, Gen Paiboon said trade-based money laundering is on the rise and money laundering methods are becoming more sophisticated.

Criminal activity is not just about snatch-and-runs or robberies, he said.

It has grown to involve exploitation of the financial system and commodity trading — in gold, for example — and it is expected to get more complex.

Gen Paiboon was speaking at the "FATF/APG Joint Experts' Meeting on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Typologies".

Sharing information about money laundering will help the government and concerned agencies formulate an effective policy and measures to combat money laundering activities, he said.

Gen Paiboon said it is the policy of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that state agencies use the existing anti-money laundering law in their fight against crimes and terrorism.

Anti-Money Laundering Office secretary-general Sihanat Prayoonrat said the effectiveness of the campaign against money laundering should be judged not by the amounts of seized assets, but by a decline in criminal activity.

"When the banks cannot be used to recycle criminal money and the drug traffickers can't make financial transactions via the banking system, that is effectiveness," he said.

He praised Thai financial institutions for their cooperation in reporting suspicious transactions and helping authorities identify money laundering techniques.

He said drug trafficking networks have found it hard to move their money through the banking system. 

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