Amlo goes on hunt for vote-buying

Amlo goes on hunt for vote-buying

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) has set up an operations centre to monitor vote-buying and investigate poll-related money-laundering activities, its acting secretary-general Pol Gen Preecha Charoensahayanon says.

Pol Gen Preecha said the centre is keeping an eye on offences under Section 73 of the organic law on the election of MPs, which prohibits poll candidates from enticing voters to cast ballots for them with promises to give them or their communities benefits in return.

However, he said Amlo has not been asked by the Election Commission (EC) to look into the financial transactions of any candidates or parties and the operations centre is part of broader efforts to crack down on poll fraud.

"We're making preparations to handle election complaints. When vote-buying complaints are filed, we'll send them to the EC for investigation. If there are grounds, the EC will press criminal charges and ask Amlo to look into the money-laundering aspect," he said.

Pol Gen Preecha also urged MP candidates to strictly observe the campaign rules and avoid any activities that are deemed to be in violation of Section 73 as the offences listed under the section provide the basis for money-laundering investigations, which can result in the freezing or confiscation of assets.

A money-laundering conviction carries a prison term from one to 10 years or/and a fine of 2,000-200,000 baht.

Deputy police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul on Wednesday warned voters not to share photos of marked ballots on social media or face a fine up to 20,000 baht and/or a prison term of up to one year.

Pol Gen Srivara on Wednesday also met with EC secretary-general Pol Col Jarungvith Phumma to discuss security preparations and other measures to facilitate voters going to the polls on Sunday.

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