No laxity in tackling cybercrimes, minister tells lawmakers
The government is making constant efforts to boost the country's digital economy, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said on Wednesday.
He made the remark during the censure debate after Pheu Thai Party's Loei MP Saran Timsuwan accused Chaiwut of his failure in dealing with various types of cybercrimes, such as call centre scams, data hacking and online gamblings.
Saran claimed that Chaiwut focused on using his authority to protect the government's stability until cybercrimes caused people to be at risk of losing properties, and damaged the country's economy.
"Thailand has become a country that draws scammers to seek benefits, but we haven't seen the government's efforts to deal with them," Saran said.
He added that call-centre scams also lead to human trafficking as many people have been deceived into becoming a part of call-centre gangs to continue scamming.
Chaiwut denied Saran's accustations, saying that every country faces similar issues in the internet era.
He said many committes have been formed to deal with cybercrimes so far, such as the National Cyber Security Committee that is responsible for supervising agencies possessing important data, such as financial institutions and hospitals.
He added that Thailand has enforced the Personal Data Protection Act on June 1 to protect people's personal data while performing online transactions.
"I admit that call centre scams are a big issue because I have received a lot of complaints so far," he said.
"What I want to do is arrest call-centre gangs. It would be easy if call-centre gangs lived in Thailand, but they live in neighbouring countries."
He added that the ministry has cooperated with Cambodian agencies to tackle call-centre scams.
He also confirmed that the government led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wants to deal with this issue as soon as possible.
Apart from protecting people from cybercrimes, this move will also help boost confidence among business operators, stimulate the digital economy and generate revenue for Thais, he added.