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Fraud chief hails Bt13bn in seizures

national August 17, 2018 14:09

By The Nation

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The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) has successfully confiscated Bt13 billion worth of assets from cases in the past 18 months, said acting Amlo chief Pol Maj Gen Preecha Charoensahayanont on Friday.



These included high-profile graft and human-trafficking crimes while it also intercepted "call centre" scam withdrawals worth Bt17 million.

Bt13 billion worth of assets were seized from money-laundering suspects in the rice-pledge scheme graft case and the alleged misappropriation of funds at Social Development and Human Security Ministry's provincial centres for the destitute.

There was also the alleged graft at the Education Ministry's Sema Pattana Chevit Fund for underprivileged children and the temple funds embezzlement scandal.

Assets were taken from the Klongchan Credit Union embezzlement case, which saw embezzled religious donations made to the Dhammakaya Temple, as well as the two human-trafficking cases linked to "Nataree" and "Victoria's: The Secret Forever" massage parlours, he said.

The agency's working system was reformed to be more proactive, which enabled it to timely intercept the call-centre transfers and similar techniques would be applied to the anti-money laundering law enforcement on 26 crimes. The crimes included drug trafficking, child prostitution and illegal gambling.

Next year will mark Amlo's 20th anniversary and the agency aims to use high technology to catch up with the borderless and cashless digital era, Preecha said. The Amlo operation centre will be developed into a war room with a large database that can speedily search and process information on crime suspects and links to other crimes.

He said by 2021 the agency aims to become internationally recognised for money-laundering prevention and suppression, especially on funds for terrorism.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the next Amlo secretary-general had not been discussed by the Cabinet.

It follows the abrupt removal of Pol Maj Gen Romsit Viriyasan by the National Council for Peace and Order.

He said the Amlo committee would submit a shortlist of candidates for the Cabinet to forward to the National Legislative Assembly.

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