Asset Seizure Sets New Bar for Targeting Wildlife Criminals
(Bangkok) On September 30, 2021, Police Major General Piyapun Pingmuang, Secretary General of Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Organization (AMLO), awarded Freeland with an official plaque of recognition and appreciation for its critical support of a multi-year, multi-country case against an international wildlife trafficking syndicate, which resulted in over 330 million baht in assets being frozen and seized. The case targeted multiple suspects based in Thailand who were suspected of trafficking endangered species across the country’s borders, and laundering money from their related sales and purchases money.
One of the suspects was the notorious Boonchai Bach, based in Nakorn Panom, Thailand whose multiple properties and bank accounts were seized.
Freeland’s support of AMLO on a string of related cases started in 2011, with a recent concentrated joint effort between 2019-2021 that resulted in the major seizure in March 2021.
“AMLO’s case against Hydra is the most impressive and important piece of anti-money laundering investigation work into wildlife trafficking that we are aware of in Asia,” said Steven Galster, founder of Freeland. “We believe the Hydra case has set a new bar for AML performance in the arena of wildlife conservation, and we are hopeful it will lead to more asset targeting and seizures.”
Freeland congratulated General Pingmuang for his permanent appointment as Secretary General of AMLO, noting that “his leadership made a huge positive difference in this case.” Freeland also congratulated Police Lieutenant Colonel Teeraphong Dulyavichan for leading the team of investigators. “Dulyavichan and his team were five-star!” added Galster.