Thailand is struggling with the events of COVID, which is only exacerbating the existing economic issues. The latest lockdown measures may further delay the Thai economy’s recovery from its worst slump in more than two decades. Even before announcing the latest measures, Thailand’s central bank saw “significant downside risk” to its current 1.8% economic growth forecast for this year, saying a prolonged outbreak will squeeze business liquidity and hurt employment in the services sector. The Kingdom expects the economy to return to pre-COVID levels only in early 2023 if herd immunity is delayed to the end of next year.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Status
Thailand is no longer on the FATF List of Countries identified as having strategic AML deficiencies.
In 2010, FATF identified Thailand’s progress in improving its AML/CFT legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its Action Plan regarding the strategic deficiencies. Therefore, Thailand is no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process under its ongoing global AML/CFT compliance process. Thailand will work with the APG as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report.
According to the latest Mutual Evaluations Report, Thailand was deemed compliant for 3 and largely compliant for 24 out of the 40 recommendations; and highly effective for 0 and substantially effective for 5 concerning the 11 areas of Effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime.
Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO)
Founded in 1999, AMLO is the key agency in Thailand that is responsible for enforcing AML/CFT regulations. They play a pivotal role in solving crimes by implementing the AML/CFT measures to eliminate the commission of predicate offenses or block out utilization of assets connected with the commission of such crimes. Under the new laws, the powers of AMLO have increased to act as a central financial intelligence agency regulating companies both within and outside of Thailand.
Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)
Thailand is a founding member of the APG (since 1997). The APG is an international governmental organisation. It consists of 41 member jurisdictions, focused on ensuring that its members effectively implement the international standards against money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing risks.
The Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) is the only AML regulation applicable to every person in the jurisdiction of Thailand. Recently, the AMLA was updated and amended in compliance with the international standards of FATF.
In 2020, Thailand’s cabinet and parliament issued amendments to the AMLA to comply with the international standard of FATF. The reforms highlight a focus on financial technology services. The AMLA’s definition of financial institutions expanded to asset management and digital asset businesses, trustees in capital market trusts, personal load businesses, regulated e-payments systems and services, non-bank credit card service providers – but not limited to these businesses.
The government implemented a new customer due-diligence regulation under the Ministerial Regulation on Customer Due Diligence 2020. This regulation exempts reporting entities from the requirement to identify beneficial owners of certain types of customers, including government entities, special financial institutions, and listed companies.
Thai verification available
Thai citizens can be verified using government, commercial and credit data sources. Institutions can verify and validate their customers’ names, dates of birth, gender, province, phone number, addresses (based on their documentation) and document numbers. Citizens of Thailand can be verified using the following documents:
National identity card
The Thai national identity card is the official identity document issued by the Department of Provincial Administration, Ministry of the Interior. This document can be received by Thai citizens between the age of 7 and 70 years. You can verify your customers’ first name, last name, date of birth, and card number.
The Passport Division by the Department of Consular Affairs within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues the Thai passport. In 2020, a third version of the e-Passport was released that contains technical specifications that comply with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The e-Passport includes biometric data, helps to improve the verification process at immigration, and contains security features to prevent forgery. You can verify your customers’ first name, last name, date of birth, passport number, and nationality.
The Department of Land Transport under the Ministry of Transport issues the Thai driver’s licence. It allows you to drive in Thailand and other Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) states without an international driving permit. You can verify your customers’ first name, last name, date of birth, and licence number.
Global watchlists can identify if Thai citizens are high-risk individuals or entities. You can screen your customers against PEPs, Sanctions, and adverse media lists.