Popular Thai actor, Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit has been arrested in an alleged crypto scam worth nearly $24 million.
Allegedly, the actor helped defraud Finnish Bitcoin millionaire, Aarni Otava Saarimaa out of 5,564 BTC. There are allegations of the actor and a group approaching Saarimaa in June 2017 over investment in several Thai stocks, a casino in Macau, and a new cryptocurrency under the name Dragon Coin.
The group said Dragon Coin could even find use at a casino.
They even brought Saarimaa to the Macau casino in order to demonstrate the legitimacy of the project. Saarimaa, who bought into the scheme, then transferred a total of 5,564 Bitcoins to the group.
However, after seeing no returns or dividends, Saarimaa filed a complaint with Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD).
“The complainant told police at the CSD that 797 million baht worth of bitcoin was transferred to the suspects’ e-wallets. The complainant never received any dividends from the claimed companies nor an invitation to their shareholders’ meetings,” as reported by Coin Pick.
After launching an investigation, the CBD said there was no record of any investments. Instead, the crypto scam artists liquidated the 5,564 BTC into Thai baht and deposited the funds into seven bank accounts.
Financial Fraud and Crypto Scam on the Rise in Thailand
According to the Bank of Thailand, complaints related to financial fraud and crypto scam are on the rise.
In fact, there were more than 1,482 cases in 2017, a year over year increase of nearly 14%. Most victims receive deceiving offers on the phone, email, and social media. According to Coin Pick, “Thuntee Sukchotrat, an IT expert, and co-founder of JIBEX which is an exchange for cryptocurrency trading, said that the lack of regulations on digital asset trading left room for syndicates to deceive people.”
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