PM backs amendment of law to punish fraudsters opening fake bank accounts


Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has thrown his support behind an amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering Act that would punish anyone who fraudulently opens bank accounts under other people’s names for online scams, deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Thursday.

The amendment, proposed by the Anti-Money Laundering Office, carries imprisonment and fine penalties for people involved in opening false bank accounts to accept money transfers from scam victims, she said.

Prayut has instructed the relevant authorities to ensure a quick amendment of the law so that police can use it as a tool to suppress prevalent online scams, which have caused much suffering to many people, according to the spokesperson.

Also, the prime minister has ordered relevant agencies to warn people against allowing their names to be used in opening false bank accounts, as they could end up being accomplices under this amended legislation, she said.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society is working closely with the Royal Thai Police in tackling online crimes. A “cybercrime patrol” task force was set up to investigate reported offences and there is also collaboration with neighbouring countries, according to Traisuree.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers' Association have set measures to warn potential scam victims and prevent the opening of false bank accounts.