Crypto crackdown: Regulatory bodies unite to reel in P2P fraud

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Regulatory bodies are rallying together to develop stringent rules to monitor the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies via peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. These authorities have observed that fraudsters, seeking to cover their tracks after illicit activities, tend to use cryptocurrencies purchased P2P.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is being urged to revise or create regulations related to digital assets, to oversee P2P activities and curb the avenues available to online scammers. Prasert Jantararuangthong, the Minister for Digital Economy and Society, estimates that around 80% of the 100 million baht lost to online fraud daily is transferred using the unregulated P2P channel.

Prasert suggests that the SEC should examine the feasibility of implementing additional stipulations to oversee P2P crypto exchange activities. Current regulations primarily target unauthorised market crypto trading. He regards the focus on P2P channels as a key component of a broader strategy to tackle online fraud and call centre crime rings.

With the SEC recording approximately two million crypto accounts held by individuals, Prasert assures that regulating the P2P platform would not impact cryptocurrency traders on authorised exchanges.

Related news

On April 9, Prasert convened a meeting with representatives from various regulatory bodies to discuss strategies to combat call centre gangs and other forms of online crime.

Attendees included officials from the SEC, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, the Bank of Thailand, the Thai Bankers’ Association, the Anti-Money Laundering Office, the Department of Special Investigation, the Royal Thai Police, the Interior Ministry, the Defence Ministry, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

PM directive

The assembly was prompted by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s April 1 directive for state authorities to demonstrate tangible results in their efforts to curb widespread online fraud within a month. If the SEC fails to make progress in revising existing regulations, Prasert plans to inform the premier about a new scheme to regulate P2P cryptocurrency transactions.

The meeting also outlined strategies for a comprehensive approach to prevent online fraud and call centre scams. These include accelerating data integration, a project co-hosted by the DES Ministry and the Anti-Online Scam Operation Centre, and the immediate elimination of mule accounts by the central bank and the Thai Bankers’ Association.

In the past week, the Anti-Money Laundering Office closed over 318,000 mule bank accounts, and the Anti-Online Scam Operation Centre closed almost 103,000 mule accounts. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission is also addressing the issue of mule SIM cards, having recently required owners of more than 100 SIM cards to re-register and verify their identities.

The Defence Ministry, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, and the Royal Thai Police have been tasked with intensifying efforts to dismantle illegal telecom signal towers along the country’s borders. The Royal Thai Police have also been assigned to develop an action plan to suppress call centre gangs and online crime.

The DES Ministry and the Royal Thai Police are expected to collaborate with neighbouring countries to address these cybercrime issues, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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