Crackdown on insider trading and fraud accelerates under Thai watch

BANGKOK, Oct. 19 (Bloomberg): Thailand is seeking to speed up criminal proceedings to crack down on insider trading, securities fraud and other illegal financial transactions, according to the country’s top regulator.

The country’s Securities & Exchange Commission plans to have more power to investigate criminal transactions in stocks, bonds and digital assets, according to Secretary-General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol.

The proposal would speed up charges because the current process, mostly carried out by the police, is taking a long time, she said.

“We have better trained staff to deal with this sophisticated misconduct in the capital markets,” Ruenvadee said in an interview on Friday. and fraud.

Thailand has already taken steps to strengthen its surveillance to crack down on illegal transactions in capital markets. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, founder of the country’s largest private hospital chain, and Pete Bodharamik, who controls a telecommunications company, were among the tycoons fined for financial mischief since the regulator implemented the sanction civilian in 2014.

In July, the commission filed a criminal complaint against Binance Holdings Ltd. to a division of the Royal Thai Police for operating a digital asset business in the country without a license.

Yet the current sanctions are insufficient to stem the increase in illegal transactions in the market, Ruenvadee said.

More cases

Thailand’s SEC has filed criminal complaints against 38 people involving seven cases in the first eight months of this year, according to its website.

This compares to 24 people in nine criminal cases for all of 2020. For civil penalties, the regulator fined 24 people from January to August, up to 167 million baht ($ 5 million) from 10 people. and 36 million baht in 2020.

The SEC plans to have more power to conduct criminal investigations into a possible violation of securities laws similar to those in countries like the United States, Ruenvadee said. The expanded authority includes summons of witnesses, records, documents and information, she said.

The increased authority and enforcement is the key amendment to the existing securities law that has been forwarded to the finance ministry for review, Ruenvadee said.

The ministry will discuss with other law enforcement agencies such as the Royal Thai Police and the Attorney General’s office before it goes to Cabinet and parliament for ratification, she said. -Bloomberg

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