Crypto Millionaire Loses Over 5,500 Bitcoins in Alleged Investment Scam in Thailand
A 22-year-old Finnish crypto millionaire lost more than 5,500 bitcoins (BTC) in a fraudulent investment scheme in Thailand. The scam drew a lot of public attention due to the alleged involvement of a famous Thai actor.
According to a media report published by the Bangkok Post on Monday, a group of fraudsters approached crypto millionaire Aarni Otava Saarimaa in July last year with a plan to make a fortune from him. The group decided to solicit the businessman over-investment in Thai stocks, a cryptocurrency called Dragon Coin, and a casino in Macau.
The fraudsters claimed that upon issuance, the new cryptocurrency could be used at the casino, according to the report. What more is that they even brought the millionaire with them to the casino to prove the legitimacy of their project. The Finnish businessman, who bought into the fraudulent scheme, transferred more than 5,500 bitcoins to the group, the report said.
However, having seen no returns on his investment, Saarima decided to file a complaint to Thailand’s CSD (Crime Suppression Division) in January this year, along with his business partner who also believed the investment scheme to be fraudulent.
The CSD then launched an investigation and alleged in its investigation report that the group did not make any investments for the businessman, but instead chose to liquidate all bitcoins into the local currency and deposited the fund into 7 different bank accounts.
But, it is still unclear when the fraudsters sold off the bitcoins, and the CSD estimated that the group made off nearly $24 million or 800 million baht by selling the assets.
After a months-long investigation, the CSD suspected that the film actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit was part of the plan and arrested him last week.
Furthermore, the team later alleged that the film actor’s sibling Prinya Jaravijit was the ringleader of this fraudulent scheme and has left for the US via South Korea. The report added that the team is now collaborating with authorities in the United States to track down the suspect.