News Risk Management12 Sep 2018

Thailand:Cryptocurrency crimes set to increase

12 Sep 2018

Crimes involving cryptocurrencies are expected to increase in the near future and Thailand is still badly in need of qualified persons to deal with these matters, said a Bangkok Post report.

Kittipong Kittayarak, the executive director of the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ), said that Thailand still needs to work on developing technologies and innovations as tools to combat transnational crimes, in particular cyber crime involving the use of cryptocurrencies.

He made these comments at a seminar in Bangkok last week about combating crime in the digital age, jointly held by the TIJ and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He said the UNODC has revealed that many criminal gangs have used cryptocurrencies to launder money and provide financial support for terrorists. 

Mr Kittipong added that cryptocurrencies have also been used to pay kidnap ransoms, and buy child pornography, illicit drugs, malware and firearms on the dark web, whose popularity is rising among criminal gangs.

While there are currently still not many crimes involving these currencies, the toll is expected to rise quickly in the near future.

The Thai government has set up a National Cyber Security Committee, but expertise and educcation are still lacking and it is necessary to learn and build up networks to prevent cybercrime, said deputy prime minister and justice minister Prajin Juntong.

In a well-known local cryptocurrency cheating case, a Finnish investor was defrauded of bitcoins worth over $24m in Thailand after being told to invest in publicly traded stocks on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and another company and digital currency by a Thai man who subsequently transferred the currency to his family instead.

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