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Thailand Cracks Down on Scammers Using P2P Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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P2P Cryptocurrency Exchanges Thailand

Thailand’s Digital Ministry and  the Securities and Exchange Commission have hands joined to combat online scams to create of rules to govern the P2P cryptocurrency exchanges for the buying and selling of cryptocurrency.

According to these authorities, scammers use the money they make from their illegal operations to buy peer-to-peer cryptocurrency in order to lessen the danger of being tracked down.

Mr. Prasert Jantararuangthong, minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), stated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must alter or develop existing legislation governing digital assets in order to regulate P2P cryptocurrency operations and limit access for scammers. He said, around 80% of internet fraudsters use the P2P cryptocurrency channel for money transfers because it is unregulated.

Mr Prasert stated that the SEC may need to investigate and propose implementing new conditions to monitor the P2P channel of cryptocurrency exchange activity.

Existing legislation are mostly concerned with regulating cryptocurrency trading on unlicensed market exchanges. He stated that the focus on the P2P channel is part of a larger effort to find comprehensive solutions to combat online fraud and call center gangs.

Two Million P2P Cryptocurrency Exchange Accounts

According to Mr Prasert, the SEC reports that 2 million individuals own cryptocurrency accounts. “The move to regulate the P2P platform would not affect cryptocurrency traders on authorised exchanges,” the official said.

On April 9, Mr Prasert met with related authorities to discuss contact center gangs and the suppression of all sorts of internet criminality.

Representatives from the SEC, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, the Bank of Thailand, the Thai Bankers’ Association, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo), the Department of Special Investigation, the Royal Thai Police, the Interior Ministry, the Defence Ministry, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry all attended the meeting.

The meeting followed Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s request on April 1 that state officials show concrete achievements from the campaign on pervasive internet fraud within 30 days.

Mr Prasert stated that if the SEC fails to develop existing legislation to address the issue, he will advise the premier of a new scheme to control peer-to-peer bitcoin transactions. Aside from focusing on the P2P cryptocurrency channels, the group also discussed comprehensive ways to fight online fraud and phone center frauds.

Over 300 thousand Mule Bank Accounts Shuttered

First, all parties involved are expected to work together to accelerate data integration. The DES Ministry and the Anti-Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) are co-hosting the integration. All agencies must provide them with relevant information, such as mule accounts, mule SIM cards, and suspected URL/Line information for gambling websites.

Second, the central bank and the Thai Bankers’ Association are expected to close the mule accounts immediately. Last week, Amlo closed 318,298 mule bank accounts and the AOC closed 102,900 mule accounts. The NBTC has been attempting to address the issue of mule SIM cards. The agency has requested persons with more than 100 SIM cards to re-register and verify their identities by February 14.

Approximately 2.57 million SIM card owners validated their identities. The DES Ministry and Royal Thai Police have terminated over 800,000 mule SIM cards. The Defense Ministry, NBTC, and Royal Thai Police are anticipated to increase operations to dismantle illicit telecom signal towers near the border.

The summit also directed the Royal Thai Police to develop a well-defined action plan to combat contact center gangs and cyber criminality. The DES Ministry and Royal Thai Police are likely to seek collaboration from neighboring nations in order to address cyber crime issues.

Loses of 4.65 Billion Baht

Consumer fraud is the most common internet scam, generating more than 1 billion baht in damage in the first quarter of this year, the Royal Thai Police (RTP) announced on Monday. According to deputy government spokesman Karom Polpornklang, 26,507 online scam instances were reported via the RTP website (, resulting in total loss of 4.65 billion baht, or 149 million baht per day.

Consumer fraud, in which individual suspects deceive their victims into purchasing goods or services online, was the most common scam recorded on the RTP website. These scams cost victims 1.02 billion baht, he claimed.

Other common scams included deceiving people into transferring money to gain extra money, which resulted in 466 million baht in overall harm, and loan scams, in which victims ended up repaying significantly more money than they borrowed due to excessively high interest rates. These financial scams caused 112 million baht in losses, he claimed.

Luring consumers into investing in digital assets cost 1.1 billion baht, while call center frauds cost 289 million baht. Mr Karom stated that the RTP blocked 28,233 bank accounts used by internet scammers in March, freezing at least 588 million baht out of a total of almost 1 billion baht in damages.

According to Pol Maj Gen Siriwat Deepho, the RTP deputy spokesman, the acting police chief, Pol Gen Kitrat Panphet, was concerned about the extent of the victims’ losses and the number of people who had knowingly or unknowingly given up control of their bank accounts to scammers or call center gangs.

Pol Maj Gen Siriwat emphasized that mule accounts are central to all online fraud, so individuals should not give out their bank information or sell their bank books for a tiny profit.

People whose identities appear on mule accounts face a potential three-year prison sentence and a fine of up to 300,000 baht. Pol Maj Gen Siriwat stated that they will be regarded participants of the scam networks and will face the same punishment as fraud ringleaders.

Source: DES, SEC


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