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Slice of bitcoin fraud spoils ‘went to actor’s parents’

Slice of bitcoin fraud spoils ‘went to actor’s parents’

BANGKOK: Police have searched the parental home of actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit, a suspect at the centre of an alleged bitcoin scam, in Chonburi after finding his elder brother had transferred B90 million thought connected to the fraud to their parents.

crimepolicetechnology
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 15 August 2018, 08:47AM


Detectives talk to Jiratpisit ‘Boom’ Jaravijit shortly after his arrest last week over the bitcoin scam. Authorities have charged him, his brother and sister in the case. Photo: Royal Thai Police

Detectives talk to Jiratpisit ‘Boom’ Jaravijit shortly after his arrest last week over the bitcoin scam. Authorities have charged him, his brother and sister in the case. Photo: Royal Thai Police

The actor’s elder sister, Suphitcha, also accused of conspiring to cheat a Finnish man and a Thai investor out of B797mn, told police through her lawyer that she would turn herself in at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) today (Aug 15).

The CSD investigators suspect the B90mn may be ill-gotten gains from the fraud although they believe both parents had not intended to commit a crime, CSD chief Maitree Chimcherd said yesterday (Aug 14).

An initial check found B90mn held by Prinya Jaravijit, the actor’s elder brother, was wired to a bank account belonging to his mother, who later transferred B40mn of the money to her husband.

Prinya, wanted on an arrest warrant for his alleged links to the bitcoin case, is believed to have fled to the United States.

At this stage, the parents’ accounts will be frozen pending a more thorough investigation into the family money trail, Maj Gen Maitree said. According to investigators, the three siblings received portions of the money generated by the sophisticated bitcoin scam that targeted Finnish national, Aarni Otava Saarimaa, and a Thai businesswoman, Chonnikan Kaeosali.

Mr Saarimaa and Ms Chonnikan gave money to the suspects in the form of bitcoins to invest. The two were allegedly lured into investing in companies and the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The pair claimed they never received dividends or any returns from the venture.

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This was because their “coins” – stored in e-wallets which were the online platform the suspects made to facilitate electronic transactions – were later allegedly sold by the suspects, which allowed them to gain, withdraw and transfer money from the sale to their own bank accounts.

According to the CSD, over B111mn was transferred into Prinya’s bank account and more than B140mn to Suphitcha’s.

The 27-year-old actor, known as ‘Boom’, allegedly received B21mn which police found was wired to his account. However, Jiratpisit denied the accusation, saying his brother was using his account.

The CSD was gathering evidence to seek warrants for the arrest of six other suspects – four of whom are thought to have received a share of the money and another two who allegedly conspired to commit the fraud.

“This is a case which can be settled,” said Maj Gen Maitree, adding he was informed talks over damages has begun between the suspects and the victims.

Read original story here.

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