Thailand’s financial watchdog could potentially legalize confiscating crypto that was involved in fraud and will most likely create a government-backed digital wallet to store such assets. As according to The Nation, The Anti-Money Laundering Office of Thailand (AMLO) has presented that initiative at the cybercrime seminar in Bangkok. As per the current regulations, the government is unable to confiscate the stolen crypto even if the culprit is already behind bars.
For example, earlier this year, Thailand police, working alongside their counterparts from Hong Kong have arrested a Moldova citizen who was suspected of creating a child pornography website. The accused reportedly earned around $3.6 million dollars a year from the illegal operation. “We found bitcoin in his e-wallet, but had to leave it there because we don’t have any regulations,” according to the Police Captain Ekkanit Natethong.
However, despite the proposed measures, it would still be difficult to track who operates in breach of the current licensing system. “We cannot identify the cryptocurrency operator or receivers when duped victims transfer money to the criminals,” AMLO said. It’s also worth mentioning that courts in Thailand are very much unlikely to accept crypto transactions as evidence since it’s difficult to identify the persons involved.
According to the recent statistics coming out of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, cybercrime is costing the world an estimate of $600 billion. And although Thailand has recently claimed to be almost crypto crime free, investment pyramids into bitcoin and many altcoins do happen.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
1) Cryptocurrency crime in Asia is on a rise, as UN states in thier report, 10 countries of the region account for the $200 million. Police is actively calling on the government to provide a framework on dealing with crypto related crime.
2) Some countries in Europe have already obtained the legal framework to confiscate stolen crypto like UK. More recently, Europol has detained drug dealers that held over $5 million in bitcoin. The first large scale sell-off of stolen crypto was conducted by the U.S. when 114 thousand bitcoins were taken off the Silk Road darknet and subsequently sold in 2017 for $48 million.