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Cryptocurrency-tax ‘will hit economy’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Cryptocurrency-tax ‘will hit economy’ | The Thaiger

New tax measures aimed at curbing the Thai initial crypto-coin offering (ICO) market will adversely affect the economy as the measures could drive investors and entrepreneurs overseas, according to experts.

The Royal Gazette this week announced a new set of laws related to digital asset businesses, an amendment of the Revenue Code to regulate and impose high taxes on transactions. It also warned of tough punishments over illegal conduct in the digital economy.

The digital asset law authorises the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate transactions involving cryptocurrencies and digital tokens.

SEC secretary general Rapee Sucharitakul said yesterday that the new taxes and legal requirements would protect local investors who were assumed to have specialised knowledge on ICOs.

ICOs were for niche investors, not general investors who could be financially damaged if not well informed, he said.

The SEC is preparing to issue new ICO regulations based on the new digital assets law within the next 2-3 weeks.

It is empowered to regulate all digital assets but Rapee said that utility tokens might be exempt from the SEC requirements.

However, all exchanges that trade digital assets must be registered with the SEC within 90 days after new regulations are effective. Even ICOs launched prior to the new rules are required to seek approval.

Cryptocurrency-tax ‘will hit economy’ | News by The Thaiger

The authority is hoping the new regulations will both promote the new sector as well as protect investors from fraud and cheating, he said, adding that the SEC and Revenue Department would hold a joint press conference today to clarify all issues.

The authority would also give the public a full month to submit opinions so that it would be best placed to handle the cryptocurrency sector in a practical way, he said.

However, Duenden Nikomborirak, of the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), said the tax measures were not favourable for the Thai digital economy and tech start-ups.

Overall, the policy would drive Thai entrepreneurs and investors to Singapore, where there are no taxes on ICOs, she said.

Thai ICOs are now subject three taxes – 15 per cent capital gains tax, 7 per cent VAT and another 20 per cent corporate income tax – so there is no chance for Thai start-ups to grow to be “Unicorn” or a start-up worth US$1 billion or more, said Duenden.

Therefore she called on the government to review the tax measures to take into account all the risks and rewards.

According to the new amendment, revenue and capital gains from cryptocurrency and digital token transactions must be taxed.

Prinn Panitchpakdi, managing director of CLSA Securities (Thailand), also said that the Finance Ministry’s tax measures would likely kill the Thai ICO market even before it had a chance to become established.

This would prompt Thai firms to launch ICOs in other countries and deprive the country of new funding opportunities, he warned.

Other sources said the tax measures would lead to an outflow of investor funds from Thailand, while the country’s security exchanges would not be able to compete with those in other countries.

They said that not only would VAT and income tax hit investors and issuers but they appeared to be redundant measures. Critics also feared the policy would negatively affect the digital economy and innovation.

However, Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, chief executive officer and founder of Tarad.com, said the new law made several issues clearer and would help prevent money-laundering and other illegal activities.

Teerachart Kortrakul, an investor and founder of StockRadars, said many Thai investors were already trading cryptocurrencies abroad so they would not be affected.

STORY: The Nation



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Bangkok

Belarusian ‘Anastasia’ will be in Moscow detention another 3 days

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Belarusian ‘Anastasia’ will be in Moscow detention another 3 days | The Thaiger

Anastasia Vashukevich, aka. Nastya Rybka, the Belarusian model/sex-educator/Instagramer who spent a year in a Thai jail awaiting last week’s Court case, and was then deported, remains in a Moscow jail as of last night after the presiding judge decided to extend her detention by 72 hours.

She was arrested at Moscow airport on Thursday after being deported from Thailand on Tuesday night. She, and seven others, pleaded guilty last Tuesday for participating in a “sex training course” in Pattaya nearly 12 months ago.

During a hearing yesterday in Moscow, she said she did not want to “in any way compromise aluminum mining magnate, Oleg Deripaska”.

According to Interfax she said in the hearing, ”I have had enough.”

Her lawyer Dmitry Zatsarinsky, told reporters that his young client “has committed no crime” and had “nothing to do with” Deripaska and “still less with US President Donald Trump”.

On Friday her lawyer denounced Anastasia’s arrest, which was made while she was in transit in Moscow after a flight from Thailand on her way to Belarus.

The Belarusian gained notoriety last year when she claimed she had proof of Russian collusion with the Trump Presidential election campaign. She has now had her detention in Moscow extended by three days by a Russian court.

According to Interfax reports, she told the court she denied the accusation of prostitution, telling the court that “I am not guilty of what I am accused.”

She unexpectedly pleaded guilty in a Bangkok court to charges of prostitution relating to last February’s sex training course in Pattaya. The Thai judge suspended the group’s sentences but deported them, effective immediately.

Anastasia had been in custody in Thailand since a police raid in what AFP described as the “sleazy seaside resort of Pattaya” last February.

Belarusian 'Anastasia' will be in Moscow detention another 3 days | News by The Thaiger

Anastasia cruising around Phang Nga in 2017 – Instagram

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Thailand

New 500 baht fine for drunk cycling

The Thaiger

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New 500 baht fine for drunk cycling | The Thaiger

Up to now drink-driving cyclists have not been included in the laws governing drunk drivers of other vehicles in Thailand. But with the rising popularity of cycling as a fitness trend, that’s about to change with a new 500 baht fine if bought drunk in control of a bike.

Drunk bicyclists who are currently immune to litigation because there is no law to make drunk cycling an offence. The new laws are covered in the upgraded traffic bill which passed the first reading of the National Legislative Assembly last week.

But, according to the Bill drafters, riding bicycles in public while being drunk is still regarded as a petty offence and the penalty would be just a 500 baht fine.

The same new traffic bill also seeks to empower traffic police to seize driving licenses of drivers found to be drunk behind the wheels and judged incapable of driving.

The bill will also merge the Land Transport Department and police databases to coordinate and share information on backgrounds and traffic violations records of drivers and motorcyclists.

A score system is being introduced under which law-breaking drivers will have their scores cut for every traffic violation.  Everyone will start a 12 month period with 12 points. If the scores are down to zero, the drivers will have their driving licenses suspended for up to 90 days.

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Bangkok

Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses | The Thaiger

by Kornkamon Aksorndech 

Traffic police and volunteers sprayed water at four locations in Bangkok this morning in a bid to curb the dust and smog pollution.

Pol Maj General Nithithorn Jintakanon, commander of the Traffic Police Division of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, presided at the dispatch of 150 police officers and volunteers from his headquarters on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road.

They chose four high-traffic locations and sprayed water in front of the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, the Din Daeng expressway toll gates and at the Ratchadapisek-Lat Phrao intersection on Lat Phrao Road and a Ramkhamhaeng Road intersection.

#pissinginthewind

Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses | News by The Thaiger Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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