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DSI arrests American in Phuket over B235mn fraud scam

PHUKET: An American actor staying in Phuket as a tourist has been arrested in connection with a multinational scam operation based in Singapore that has allegedly defrauded Thai investors of B235 million.

crimetourism
By The Phuket News

Wednesday 22 August 2018, 10:37AM


American citizen Derrick Matthew Keller is questioned after he was taken into custody in Phuket by Phuket Immigration and DSI officers on Monday (Aug 20). Photo: DSI

American citizen Derrick Matthew Keller is questioned after he was taken into custody in Phuket by Phuket Immigration and DSI officers on Monday (Aug 20). Photo: DSI

The Department Special Investigation (DSI) announced late yesterday that American citizen Derrick Matthew Keller was taken into custody in Phuket by Phuket Immigration and DSI officers on Monday (Aug 20).

Details of the location and time of Kellor’s arrest were not revealed.

Kellor was wanted on a warrant for his arrest for his involvement with Eagle Gates Group Co Ltd, which has allegedly defrauded victims through joint investment scheme in Thailand and abroad.

The company, which has been operating for more than 10 years, claims to be a stock index trading company from the United States, but siphoned money off for its own use, reported the DSI.

The company has two main roles of operation, with one group of agents holding investment seminars to lure investors, and another group to process the transactions, the DSI noted.

The DSI reported that it had received complaints from about 250 people who petitioned the agency to investigate the company’s operations in Thailand.

Together, the complaints reported a total of about B235 million being misappropriated.

The DSI reported that Kellor was one of 32 people (23 Thai nationals and nine foreigners) wanted on arrest warrants for the case.

So far 13 suspects – Kellor and 12 Thais – have been arrested, the DSI noted.

During questioning, Keelor told officers that he was an actor working in China, and was hired by a Singaporean to be Executive Director of Eagle Gates Group Co Ltd in order to build credibility and reputation for the company.

The DSI noted that they would investigate Kellor’s role further.

The DSI also reported that their investigations had discovered more than B1 billion in investment had been transferred out of the victim’s bank accounts.

The agency confirmed that it would expand its investigation to trace transactions through the specified bank accounts and that other relevant agencies including the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) will be assisting in the investigation.

The DSI has been investigating Eagle Gates Co Ltd's operations in Thailand for some time now. In december, the DSI announced the arrests of two Thais and eight foreigners involved in the scam, which offered returns of 3% to 20% per month, depending on the 'investment package' selected. (See story here.)

Investment fraud watchdog BehindMLM posted a comprehensive review of Eagle Gates' origins, apparently New York but Thailand-based, and its purported founder Eddy McClough, in 2016.

The website even reported a 'fake CNN interview ' with McClough staged to dupe investors. (See report here.)

 

 

 

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