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Thai banks named in report may issue statement on revelations of 'suspicious transactions'

Sep 22. 2020
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By The Nation

The top executives of four Thai banks are holding talks on Tuesday on their response to allegations of suspicious transactions revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The ICIJ reports are based on leaked files, comprising so-called suspicious activity reports by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the United States.

The Thai banks may issue a joint statement shortly, a source in the banking industry told the Nation.

The ICIJ found 92 transactions involving four Thai banks receiving $9.6 million and remitting $31.75 million between 2000 and 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions as suspicious to the US authorities.

The four Thai banks named in the report are: Bangkok Bank, Kasikornbank, and two state-owed banks -- Krungthai Bank and Export-Import Bank of Thailand.

The data involving Thai banks represents only a small fraction of the more than $2 trillion worth of transactions found in the FinCEN files, according to the ICIJ.

The data map also provides information about US-based corespondent banks that allow financial institutions in more than 150 countries and territories to process payments in US dollars, says the ICIJ.

The records include more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports filed by nearly 90 financial institutions to FinCEN.

The transactions do not necessarily establish any criminal conduct or other wrongdoings. The data offers an unprecedented overview of how money flagged as suspicious, and in some cases linked to corruption, fraud, sanctions evasion or other crimes, flows around the globe via networks of correspondent banks, according to the ICIJ.

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