Thailand suggests ASEAN countries to develop communication channel against cybercrime

According to the announcement made by the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s Permanent Secretary of Justice Wisit Wisitsora-at encouraged ASEAN law enforcement officials to develop a communication channel to prevent cybercrime.

Permanent Secretary of Justice Wisit Wisitsora-at said that ASEAN law enforcement officials should work together in order to create a channel where they can communicate and share information about cybercrimes since the offences are transnational.

Mr Wisit mentioned this while speaking at a seminar in Bangkok, which was attended by representatives from 10 ASEAN nations as well as cybercrime suppression experts. The seminar was a venue for ASEAN member to exchange law enforcement measures to combat computer crimes.

He added that all the countries around the globe should pay more attention to computer crimes, which are spreading and causing widespread damage. One country alone cannot thwart all computer crimes as it has no power to deal with offenders who are overseas.

Although each country has its own measure on catching these offenders, there are still legal differences among the countries, which help criminals, get away with it.

Because of this, a channel where ASEAN law enforcement agencies can exchange information about cybercrimes is necessary. It should be formed so that they can discuss a range of cybercrimes, from basic offences such as call centre scams to complex transgressions.

Mr Wisit added that those who commit cybercrimes are equipped with various levels of technical knowledge. Having a communication channel would help pinpoint loopholes exploited by cybercrime offenders, in turn; this will assist the countries in amending the laws to counter the transgressions.

“The world has realised that cybercrimes have become a new trend. Even the United Nations pays attention to the issue and agrees that we should not wait until the situation becomes critical to find ways to deal with the problem,” Mr Wisit said.

He added that although Thailand has severe punishments in place based on the Computer Crime Act, questions must still be raised as to whether officials would be able to apprehend criminals to prevent the crimes from spreading. He said that the criminals need not travel to the target country to commit the offence.

"Regarding law enforcement officials, they must develop a surveillance system that would detect the offences," Mr Wisit said.

According to the Department of Special Investigation, most cybercrimes committed in Thailand involve call centre scams that have caused substantial damage to several customers over the years. The criminals set up their bases for call centre operations in various nations.

Data from December 2017 shows that 452 cases pertaining to call centres have been recorded according to the unit of the Royal Thai Police tasked with preventing and thwarting public frauds through phones or electronic channels. The damage was reported to have reached about 245 million baht.

A total of 547 warrants have been issued to arrest offenders, 396 of which were already apprehended.

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