Workshop on the use of Foreign Direct Investment Screening Tools to mitigate the risks of Transnational Organized Crime in Thailand

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Bangkok (Thailand), 2 March 2023 - UNODC, in collaboration with the Government of Australia, hosted a workshop on the use of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) screening tools to mitigate the risk of Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) in Bangkok on 1-2 March, 2023. This training provided an overview of emerging approaches to combating TOC and promoted greater transparency and accountability measures, particularly the use of FDI screening tools.

The objective of the training was to strengthen the knowledge of law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners, and stakeholders from various Thai ministries concerned with attracting and authorizing FDI in Thailand, in transnational organized crime, including related corruption and money laundering challenges in the Mekong region, and how foreign direct investment could be used as a vehicle for transnational crime.

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The workshop gathered 54 participants and presenters from organizations such as the Thailand Department of Special Investigation at the Ministry of Justice (DSI/MOJ), Sapiens International Corporation, the Thailand Bureau of Foreign Business Administration at the Ministry of Commerce (BDB/MOC), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SET), the office of the National Economic and Social Council (NESDC), the Thailand Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), the Economic Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), the Fiscal Policy Office at the Thailand Ministry of Finance (FPO/MOF), the Revenue Department at the Thailand Ministry of Finance (RD/MOF), the Department of International Economic Affairs at the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs (IEA/MFA), the Department of Trade Negotiations at the Thailand Ministry of Commerce (DTN/MOC), the Bureau of Foreign Business Administration at the Thailand Ministry of Commerce (BDB/MOC), the Australian Treasury, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Thailand Board of Investment, and the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce at the Australian Taxation Office.

Throughout the training, case studies and typologies were utilized to demonstrate how money laundering, tax evasion and other transnational crime is disguised and carried out through FDI. Following UNODC’s provision of an overview of the TOC threat picture for Southeast Asia, presentations delivered by the Australian Treasury and Taxation Office and Thailand covered the country’s FDI screening process and related tools to combat TOC. During the second day of the workshop, participants shared their experiences in FDI and were able to engage in a detailed question & answer session with subject matter experts.

The workshop closed with an opportunity for reflections on key learning and opportunities for further engagement and collaboration between the participants.

This training was part of activities funded by the Australian Government.

Other Useful Links:

  • A summary of a workshop to build the capacity of Lao PDR State Inspection Agency (SIA) to conduct Financial Investigations held in Laos in December 2022 can be found here.
  • A description of a Financial Crime Suspect Interview workshop held in Thailand in April 2022 can be found here.
  • A summary of activities by the UNODC Anti-Corruption Team in Southeast Asia is publicly available via our website here.