27 year old Thai actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit, and his siblings, Prinya Jaravijit and Suphitcha Jaravijit, along with six other suspects, allegedly scammed a Finnish millionaire and stole $24 million’s worth of Bitcoin last year. The Bangkok Post reported that the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has been investigating the story for over six months now.
22 year old Aarni Otava Saarimaa was reportedly approached by these suspects in June 2017. They are said to have taken him to a casino in Macao and convinced him to invest in it. They also told him to buy shares in three different companies, Expay Group, NX Chain Inc and DNA 2002 Plc, and invest in a new cryptocurrency “Dragon Coin”. As soon as they received the Bitcoin, they converted them into 745 million Baht and deposited the money into different bank accounts.
Pol Col Chakrit Sawasdee, CSD’s Deputy Commander, said, “This case is complicated. We had to carefully examine documents and trace the money trail. We collaborated with Amlo [Anti-Money Laundering Office] and it took us almost seven months to get approval for the arrest warrants for the first group.”
The investigators were able to identify the Jaravijit siblings as suspects. The Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on July 26th, and Jiratpisit was arrested from his filming location. Prinya has left the country while Suphitcha plans to meet the police on August 17th. The rest of the suspects are expected to be arrested as soon as the warrants have been issued this week.
Pol Col Chakrit added that 51 bank accounts and 14 plots have been frozen as a result of the investigation. Prinya is believed to be the mastermind behind the scheme. Police suspect that he received Saarimaa’s information from a Thai banker. The Jaravijit siblings will be initially charged with money laundering, as they are reported to have bought multiple pieces of land in the past year. However, assuming the investigation yields the requisite proof, they will be charged with fraud as well.
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