In Thailand, A 22-year old Crypto-Millionaire has lost around 5500 Bitcoins in an alleged investment fraud which drew public attention due to the involvement of a Thai movie star.
According to BangkokPost, a group of people contacted and requested Finnish businessman Aarni Otava Saarimaa in June 2017 for investing in a casino in Macau, and in several Thai stocks, as well as a new cryptocurrency called Dragon Coin. The Dragon coin could be used at the casino. They also invited saarimaa to the casino in Macau to display the credibility of the plan. Saarima who was convinced by the scheme transferred a total of 5,564 bitcoins to the group.
Saarimaa along with his local business partner, who believed the investment plan was a fraud, filed a complaint to Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) early this year stating that in all these months he did not receive any returns after the investment.
The Thai Crime Suppression Division immediately started an investigation and stated in the report that the group did not make any investments but instead disposed all the bitcoins into Thai baht and, the CSD arrested Thai film actor Jiratpisit for allegedly being involved in the plan. As per the police, gang members had requested Saarimaa to spend in many businesses with them. Finn agreed to spend in the scheme and had transferred 5564 Bitcoins which are equivalent to 797 million at that time and 1.2 million baht now.
After the bitcoins were obtained, the cryptocurrency was exchanged into fiat money before being transferred to the bank accounts of Jaravijit’s siblings and other members of the gang. Elder brother Parinya’s bank account owns more than the U.S $3.3 million, while his sister possesses around the U.S $4.2 million. On the other hand, Jaravijit’s bank account contains the approximately U.S $649,000. The bank accounts of other gang members acquire the amount between the U.S $2 million and the U.S $ 4.9 million.
As per the chief of Crimes Suppression Division, Major General Maitree Chimcherd, the police had released arrest warrants for 5-6 more suspects. Among them, the mafia included Jaravijit’s two older siblings who are being hunted. In the initial investigation, the police found that many companies were allegedly involved in the actor’s network behind the scam. On Friday the actors elder sister had approached police for surrender. The CSD Major added that she had not fled the country. But Parinya Jaravijit, the 35-year-old brother, is on the run. So, far the CSD deputy commander Pol Colonel Chakrit Sawasdee stated that the authorities have already seized property more than 200 million Thai baht which are owned by Jiratpisit’s siblings, as per the investigation the plots have been bought with the proceedings of the scam. In his defence, proving his innocence, the actor said that his brother parinya used his bank account. According to a report, the CSD is now working to collaborate with authorities in the U.S. to track down the mastermind behind the plan.
As of now the 27-year-old television and commercials actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit has been released on a 2 million Thai Baht (Approximately U.S $60,000) probation after the local authorities arrested him over alleged Crypto Millionaire investment fraud case. As part of the bail conditions for release, the actor who is popularly known as “boom” is not allowed to leave Thailand. The actor was taken into custody while he was filming in Thailand’s capital Bangkok.
Financial Scam on a hike in Thailand:
According to the Thailand bank, complaints related to the financial scam are on the rise with as many as 1,482 cases registered last year. This has been marked as a 13.7% growth from last year. Most of the complaints registered had been acquired by offers made through phone calls, emails, or social media. People were asked to invest in community enterprises, which were falsely claimed to be backed by foreign companies.
Thuntee Sukchorat, an IT expert, and co-founder of JIBEX stated that due to lack of regulations on digital assets trading has left scammers to deceive people. Currently, five digital asset exchanges are operating in Thailand, but they did not receive an official licence from the SEC. They were expected to get the licence this year, he stated, adding that 20 companies were requesting licences so far.