Thailand Cabinet approves emergency decree to crackdown on Internet fraud

The Thailand Cabinet revealed its commitment to cracking down on Internet fraud by approving a draft emergency decree.

Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn revealed the Cabinet approved the draft emergency decree to combat Internet fraud, which will allow financial institutions to temporarily halt suspicious transactions for scrutiny.

The draft, titled “the prevention and suppression of technology crime,” will be sent to the Council of State for review before it is implemented, reported Bangkok Post.

Chaiwut said…

“The draft law proposed by the DES Ministry was approved at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“It was designed to clamp down on online scammers and call centre gangs, in line with the ministry’s top priority for 2023, as these problems have become increasingly critical amid the latest digital trends.

“The legislation enables financial institutions and business operators to exchange information about their clients’ accounts and transactions through a data exchange system.

“The law also allows telecom operators to exchange information about their customers and enables the Royal Thai Police, the Anti-Money Laundering Office and authorised agencies to gain access to this data.

“The Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is authorised to develop a centralised database with users’ mobile service registrations and short messages for investigation and fraud prevention.

“The decree allows financial institutions and businesses that can identify suspicious transactions or are notified by officials of such transactions to suspend them.

“They then have to inform financial institutions or businesses that received the transferred money to halt further transactions temporarily.

“If no wrongdoing is identified, the transactions may proceed.

“When they are notified by fraud victims, financial institutions and businesses are required to suspend transactions and immediately notify financial institutions or businesses that received transferred funds to suspend further transactions temporarily.

“This step is meant to give the victims time to lodge a police complaint within 48 hours, while police investigators are obliged to probe the suspicious accounts within seven days of being notified.

“The notification of related information and evidence can be done via a phone call or electronic means.

“The law also contains details about punishments.

“Individuals are prohibited from providing access to their bank accounts, electronic cards or e-wallet accounts to people they do not want to use them. They are also barred from allowing others to use their SIM cards if they should know such a move could facilitate illegal activity.

“Violators could face a jail term of up to three years and a maximum fine of 300,000 baht, or both.

“Anyone who works for others to procure or sell bank accounts, electronic cards, e-wallet accounts, SIM cards or advertises such offerings that could facilitate crimes could face a jail term of 2-5 years and a fine of 200,000-500,000 baht, or both.”

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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