The Financial Action Task Force has decided to remove Thailand from its Public Statement under which Thailand was included on the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) blacklist.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body, in Paris between 18 and 22 February 2013.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the Secretary-General of the Anti-Money Laundering Office, Police Colonel Seehanat Prayoonrat, spoke about the issue after the Cabinet meeting on 27 February.
The Financial Action Task Force is tasked with combating money laundering and terrorism financing worldwide. It has developed a series of recommendations that are recognized as the international standard for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This organization also monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally.
The Secretary-General of the Anti-Money Laundering Office explained that the Financial Action Task Force agreed to remove Thailand from the blacklist after the country had improved various measures in line with the international standard for combating money laundering. He said that Thailand was one of the countries included on the list in February 2012, since the Financial Action Task Force believed that Thailand lacked adequate steps against money laundering and terrorist financing.
He said that all agencies involved have joined hands in tackling this issue and that significant progress has been made. For instance, the Government has proposed two bills seeking to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act. The two amended bills were recently passed by Parliament.
However, the process of removing Thailand from the Public Statement of the Financial Action Task Force has not yet been completed. The task force will send experts for inspection in Thailand in May 2013 to ensure that Thailand fully enforces the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act. Ministerial regulations must be issued, as well. Moreover, the supervision of the financial sector should be strengthened and financial institutions must act in accordance with the two laws seriously and effectively.
The experts will report results of their inspection to the Financial Action Task Force in June 2013. If the report confirms that Thailand has implemented the required measures, the Financial Action Task Force will completely remove Thailand from the list.