Thailand-based actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit has been arrested by local police in connection with a $24 million Bitcoin scam. Jaravijit is one of seven suspects accused of defrauding a Finnish national.
Details of the Arrest
On August 8th, 2018, Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit was arrested in Chatuchak district for alleged money-laundering. The Criminal Court issued a warrant for the actor’s arrest on July 26. Jaravijit, along with six other suspects including his older brother and sister, were accused of luring a foreigner into investing 791 million baht in virtual currency.
The police received a complaint from a Finnish national identified as Aarni Otava Saarimaa. Saarimaa claimed that he was deceived into transferring money in the form of bitcoin to the suspects. The suspects had promised to buy shares in companies that invested in the cryptocurrency Dragon Coin. Saarimaa, however, never received any dividends from the investment.
The claim made by the suspects turned out to be false, as the “companies” did not invest in Dragon Coin. Every attempt to get the suspects to explain the situation or give updates proved abortive, as they repeatedly avoided questions.
According to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), the Finnish complainant reported that 797 million baht worth of Bitcoin ($24 million) was transferred to the suspects’ e-wallets. The victim met the suspects for the first time in June 2017. According to the CSD, a gang and its members withdrew the Bitcoin from the e-wallets. These were, in turn, converted into Thai baht and remitted to their bank accounts. Jaravijit has denied the charges.
Bitcoin and Elaborate Scams
This is one of many elaborate scams involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In May 2018, South African authorities were investigating an alleged cryptocurrency scam that defrauded investors of 1 billion rand. According to the police, a company named BTC Global promised its clients that they would earn two percent per day, 14 percent a week, and 50 percent in a month.
A police statement said that members of the public were believed to be scammed and the payments promised were suddenly stopped.
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