Thailand Throws Jab At Crypto With P2P Purchase Ban – Details

In a concerted effort to tackle the escalating threat of online fraud, state authorities in Thailand have joined forces, emphasizing the need to regulate peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions involving cryptocurrencies. Led by Prasert Jantararuangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), the collaborative initiative aims to curb the rampant use of P2P channels by scammers to launder money obtained through illicit activities.

Amid growing concerns over the proliferation of online scams in Thailand, recent estimates suggest that the damage inflicted by fraudulent schemes amounts to a staggering 100 million baht per day. Shockingly, a significant portion of fraudsters, approximately 80%, exploit the unregulated nature of P2P cryptocurrency transactions to evade detection and traceability, posing a formidable challenge to law enforcement agencies.

Thailand: Regulatory Focus Sharpens On P2P Crypto Transactions

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, regulatory authorities, particularly the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are spearheading efforts to develop stringent rules governing P2P cryptocurrency exchanges. With scammers increasingly leveraging digital assets to perpetrate fraud, the SEC emphasizes the necessity of adapting existing regulations to effectively supervise and restrict P2P transactions.

In response to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s directive to demonstrate tangible progress within 30 days, Minister Prasert underscores the imperative of regulatory intervention to address the vulnerabilities inherent in P2P crypto channels. Failure to enact robust measures could prompt the introduction of a new regulatory framework aimed specifically at regulating P2P cryptocurrency purchases.

Collaborative Measures To Thwart Online Fraud 

The crackdown on online fraud in Thailand extends beyond regulatory adjustments, encompassing a multi-agency approach involving key stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Representatives from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo), banking associations, and law enforcement agencies converge to devise comprehensive strategies to combat the scourge of online scams.

In a bid to disrupt the operations of fraudulent syndicates, authorities are intensifying efforts to integrate data and intelligence sharing among relevant agencies. The Anti-Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC), in collaboration with the DES Ministry, spearheads initiatives to collate information on mule accounts, SIM cards, and illicit online platforms, facilitating targeted enforcement actions.

Swift Action Against Mule Accounts And SIM Cards

The central bank and the Thai Bankers’ Association are taking decisive steps to stem the tide of online fraud by swiftly identifying and dismantling mule accounts utilized by scammers. Recent actions by Amlo have resulted in the closure of hundreds of thousands of mule bank accounts, dealing a significant blow to criminal networks engaged in fraudulent activities.

Meanwhile, the NBTC is leveraging its regulatory authority to address the proliferation of mule SIM cards in Thailand, mandating stringent identity verification measures for individuals possessing multiple SIM cards. By tightening controls on telecommunications infrastructure, authorities seek to disrupt the operational capabilities of fraudsters, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the financial ecosystem.

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView