OAG mulls extradition pact with ASEAN

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The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said it was seeking cooperation from 10 Southeast Asian countries to establish a regional extradition convention to tackle transnational crimes by 2024.

Remarks on this were made at a recent seminar in Bangkok marking the OAG’s 129th anniversary, which was attended by senior officials from various departments to discuss ways to combat cybercrime.

Jumpon Phansumrit, director general of the Department of International Affairs, said criminal activities today are complex, especially those involving organized crime, such as call center scams.

These crimes affect many countries, including Thailand, he said.

Therefore, the OAG is cooperating with neighboring countries to draft the ASEAN Extradition Convention as current measures, such as the International Cooperation in Criminal Matters Act of 1992, are not sufficient to combat these crimes.

The convention is expected to enter into force in Asean by 2024, Jumpon said.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the region is plagued with drug trafficking, human trafficking, counterfeit medical supplies, illegal wildlife trade and cybercriminality.

Mr Jumpon said Thailand was used as a transit point for traffickers and trade-based money laundering through international financial institutions.

He said Thailand also participated last year in a separate international network called “International Cooperation in Criminal Matters” to fight transnational organized crime. This particular network will then be extended to other countries, such as Australia and the Maldives, among others, he added.

Benjaporn Watcharavutthichai, a prosecutor, said fraud cases in Thailand have recently increased as new technologies allow criminals to set up Ponzi schemes and call centers for scams. “Law enforcement needs to update their technologies to catch up with transnational organized crime,” she said.

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