The Anti-Money Laundering Office
Established in 1999, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (known as AMLO) is Thailand’s arm fighting against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Its 12-storey office building is located in the heart of Bangkok at 422 Phayathai Road in Pathumwan District.
As an enforcement agency, AMLO has been empowered to authorize the search of places and vehicles and has been given authority to seek court approval to conduct electronic surveillance where there is evidence of a money laundering offence.
The office works with the Transaction Committee, which has authority to seize suspicious money and property and pursue the forfeiture of assets through civil proceedings. AMLO has the responsibility for the custody, management, and disposal of seized property.
Over the past eight years of its operation, AMLO had seized assets pertaining to predicate offenses up to an amount of 4,124.8 million baht (approximately USD 117.85 million) (As of 31 December 2008). The seized assets ranged from land and premises to bank accounts, gemstones, cash and vehicles.
AMLO also plays a financial intelligence role, similar to the US FinCEN and AusTRAC of Australia. The Information Technology and Financial Investigation Bureau manages information inputs in huge amount from financial institutions and other reporting entities. It has access to database, analyzes the financial data and disseminates it to other competent authorities at domestic and international levels for further investigation.
On overseas front, AMLO has been a member of world anti-money laundering bodies like the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and the FATF-style regional body - the Asia-Pacific Group on Money laundering (APG).