Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society is moving towards a plan that could see Facebook (NASDAQ: META) ousted from the Southeast Asian country over its alleged failure to crack down on digital currency scams.
The Ministry announced that it is set to submit a petition to local courts to ban Facebook by the end of the month. According to the statement, DES argues that Facebook is complicit in the country’s rising state of digital asset fraud.
Head of the Ministry Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn pointed out that bad actors are turning to the social media platform to publish their fake investment offers. The Minister stated that the company had taken no action despite multiple requests to Facebook to take down the fraudulent ads.
“We are asking the court to close Facebook, not allowing it to provide services in Thailand if they let these fake pages scam people,” Thanakmanusorn said.
The Ministry said victims of the digital currency scams had surpassed 200,000 victims, with losses running into millions of dollars. Data from law enforcement indicates an average of 790 cases per day. Still, conviction levels remain low due to the borderless nature of digital asset crimes.
Thanakmanusorn stated that if Facebook wants to do business in Thailand, it must show responsibility to Thai society. The Ministry head added that the social media platform failed to screen advertisers, causing damage to Thai people of more than THB 100 million.
While it continues to gather evidence for its case against Facebook, DES warns investors to be wary of investment offers from social media. In its statement, the Ministry provides tell-tale signs of fake investment schemes, including the promise of high returns within a short while and guaranteed profits.
The Ministry notes that bad actors may use pictures of celebrities and popular business figures to lure their victims. Residents are advised to conduct proper research before sinking funds into investment opportunities over social media, noting that claims of operations being based outside Thailand are most likely fraudulent.
Rebuilding from the catastrophes of 2022
Thailand bore the brunt of the implosions of Terra, Celsius, Zipmex, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), and FTX back in 2022, forcing the hand of local regulators. The country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rolled out rules for digital currency service providers, including a “wallet management system” and regular audits.
Regulators made sweeping guidelines for digital currency promotions, with service providers mandated to impose clear risk warnings on all advertisements. Firms are expected to make proper disclosures to the SEC on the financial implications of promotions, especially those involving influencers.
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