Undeclared Thai banknotes totalling Bt98 million have temporarily seized by the Anti-Money Laundering Office’s (Amlo)'s transaction committee after two Lao men were arrested last December while allegedly tried to smuggle them across the border from Nong Khai into Laos.
The agency's acting secretary-general, Pol Maj-General Romsit Viriyasan, said the confiscation would last 90 days. For the first 30 days, the suspects will be allowed to give their explanation of the origins of the assets.
The money was initially held at Nong Khai customs after the December arrest as the case was processed prior to Amlo’s transaction committee stepping in.
This wasn't the year's first seizure related to cross-border cash smuggling. The Amlo transaction panel last month confiscated a total of Bt9.5 million in undeclared cash from three separate previous incidents.
Romsit said that the Amlo transaction committee on Thursday also decided to seize six assets worth Bt4.4 million from fraud suspect Chonlada Wattano and others.
Chonlada and accomplices were accused of having, during late 2008 through mid 2013, duped a former president of Yala-based Than Nam Thip farmers' group, Phuchid Saesan, of Bt9.4 million.
Police said Chonlada had allegedly claimed to be a niece of a royal family member and to be in need of a financial sponsorship from the group to fight a court battle. She allegedly promised them rewards of more money and 1,000-rai of land in the North at the conclusion of the trial.
The group later discovered they had been deceived after Chonlada was arrested on a separate case of lese majeste and fraud and sentenced to a 30-year imprisonment. They then filed a complaint against her. That resulted in the Amlo decision to seize the assets of Chonlada and accomplices for 90 days.