Thailand’s MFA Reaffirms Banks Policy on Not Supporting Military Arms Procurement

Mr. Nikorndej Balankura, Director-General of the Department of Information and Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Spokesperson, has made further clarification on Monday to the report by the U.N. special rapporteur saying that Thai banks are the main supplier to provide financial services to Myanmar’s government, especially arms that will be used on pro-democratic fighters.

The spokesperson of MFA said that as many other banks have made their statement indicating no involvement in such claim from the U.N. special rapporteur, he reaffirmed that Thai commercial banks have a clear policy of not supporting the procurement of weapons and military equipment by military organizations of Myanmar, as well as emphasizing the importance of preventing and prohibiting the misuse of financial transactions from the banking sector for purchasing weapons used to violate human rights.

Mr. Nikorndej clarified further that transactions related to Myanmar as mentioned in the report are a number of transactions for payment of utilities, consumables, and energy in the past. The Bank of Thailand has instructed financial institutions to comply with the measures of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as measures in line with the practices of the Anti-Money Laundering Office. Financial institutions must verify the facts about customers who transact with countries at high risk thoroughly.


Last week, the U.N. special rapporteur wrote that Thai banks have emerged as the primary providers of international financial services to Myanmar’s military government. This support allows the junta to acquire goods and equipment essential for its violent suppression of pro-democracy movements and armed ethnic minority factions.

The report highlights how Myanmar’s military regime has managed to continue procuring arms by adapting its sources of financial services and military equipment after facing sanctions from the U.S., European Union, and other nations. It accuses Thai companies of stepping in to fill the void left by Singaporean firms that ceased businesses with the military junta.

Notably, exports from entities registered in Thailand surged, more than doubling from over $60 million to nearly $130 million from the fiscal year 2022 to 2023. The report specifies that items previously sourced from Singapore-based entities, including components for Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters utilized in airstrikes against civilian targets, are now being supplied from Thailand.