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Thailand’s Strategies to Combat Cybercrime

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The landscape of online crime in Thailand is evolving, with a variety of cyber offences being reported. Among the most prevalent cybercrimes in the country are website defacement and small-scale fraud. This trend highlights the importance of maintaining continuous vigilance and implementing measures to combat cyber threats effectively.

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The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) in Thailand has embarked on a comprehensive strategy to combat online crimes, leveraging digital technology and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) to enhance effectiveness and efficiency across the country. Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of DE, highlighted these efforts following a meeting of the Committee to Prevent and Suppress Online Crimes in Technology.

This committee, chaired by Special Professor Wisit Wisitsaratha, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of DE, and Vice-Chaired by Mr Wetang Puangsap, Deputy Permanent Secretary, includes representatives from key agencies such as the Royal Thai Police, the National Telecommunications and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

One of the key priorities is the eradication of fraudulent accounts, often referred to as “horse accounts,” within the banking sector. The Thai Bankers Association, in conjunction with financial institutions and the Bank of Thailand, is intensifying its initiatives to detect and freeze suspicious accounts. They have bolstered measures such as Customer Due Diligence (CDD) checks to curb the exploitation of accounts for illicit purposes. There is now an immediate freeze on accounts in cases reported to AOC 1441, accompanied by improved information exchange between banks and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO).

In its efforts to combat fraudulent SIM cards, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has enforced stringent registration and identity verification requirements. This has led to the suspension of millions of SIM card numbers. Additionally, preventive measures are in place to thwart the activation of new SIM cards for illicit purposes. Information about fraudulent SIM cards is shared with the Anti-Online Crime (AOC) Unit 1441, which leverages AI technology for analysis and to take action against online thieves.

Moreover, the committee has actively targeted illegal telecommunications infrastructure in border areas. Collaborating closely with the Ministry of Defence, the NBTC, and the Royal Thai Police, efforts are underway to block such infrastructure and apprehend offenders. Regulatory measures are also being rolled out to combat illegal Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Crypto trading. This initiative involves cooperation from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Border Patrol Police, and other pertinent agencies.

The Royal Thai Police have implemented a comprehensive action plan aimed at suppressing call centre gangs and online crimes. This plan has resulted in numerous arrests related to offences such as online gambling. To enhance efficiency in combating these crimes, the police force is employing data integration and automation using AI technology.

Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong underlined the critical importance of collaboration and systematic efforts in effectively combating online crimes. In line with this, the Prime Minister has instructed weekly monitoring and inspection to ensure tangible and impactful results in the future. The Ministry of Digital Economy and its partner agencies are fully committed to addressing online crime and safeguarding the public from its detrimental effects.

Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong highlighted that Thailand’s approach to combating online crimes reflects a robust commitment to leveraging digital technology and ICT for effective law enforcement and crime prevention. Through collaboration among government agencies, financial institutions, and law enforcement, Thailand is striving to create a safer online environment for its citizens.


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