THAI INVESTIGATORS have widened their probe into the alleged Bt800-million bitcoin investment scam and are looking at more suspects after a Finnish bitcoin-owner was lured into transferring the cryptocurrency for bogus investment in Thai stocks and other assets.
Meanwhile, Supitcha Jaravijit, one of the suspects and sister of fugitive Parinya Jaravijit, who reportedly led the scam, told police she would turn herself in on August 17 to fight the case. Authorities are focused on the money trail and potential money-laundering activities as part of the expanded investigation.
Police searched the house of well-known stock investor Prasit Srisuwan, who has been linked to the scandal, as he is a major shareholder in a business co-owned by some of the suspects.
Searches were also conducted on the houses of other suspects in the case.
Documents were confiscated from their premises as part of an ongoing police investigation. An investigator, who did not want to be named, denied speculation that the 5,564 bitcoins Finnish owner Aarni Otava Saarimaa was cheated out of were sold to unnamed Thai politicians and other persons to launder illicit money via the crypto currency ownership to avoid traceability.
Pol Colonel Chakrit Sawasdee, deputy chief of the Crime Suppression Division, said the key suspect, Parinya, is understood to have fled to South Korea, while investigators are gathering evidence to implicate more wrongdoers in cooperation with the Anti-Money Laundering Organisation (AMLO).
In addition, police have evidence to implicate another key suspect, who is a major stock market player, as Bt66.5 million was transferred into this person’s bank accounts after the bitcoins were converted into Thai currency.
The suspect reportedly approached the Finnish bitcoin owner in June last year to invest in Thai stocks using the latter’s cryptocurrency, a unit of which is currently worth more than Bt200,000.
Besides cash in multiple bank accounts of various Thai suspects, money from the scam was also used to buy a land plot. The Bank of Thailand has said no Thai commercial banks had committed wrongdoing in the scam. Banks cannot deny any customers’ request to open accounts if there was no evidence of illegal activities, it said, adding that banks, however, are required to cooperate with authorities like AMLO or the police if they want to examine the money trail in their accounts.
Under current regulations, customers are also required to report the source of their funds when a deposit of more than Bt2 million is made with a bank. According to investigators, the Finnish bitcoin owner was lured into transferring his crytocurrency for the purpose of investing in the stocks of Expay, DNA 2002 and Dragon Coin last year, but the funds derived from converting the bitcoins were later deposited into the bank accounts of seven Thai suspects.
Thana Photikamchorn, a senior executive of Siam Commercial Bank, said it was not possible to bar customers from trading bitcoins and other digital currencies and then depositing the money into their bank accounts. In this case, banks are only an intermediary, but the deposits could be seized by authorities if they were illicit funds.
Another bank executive said banks would not know in advance if these customers were opening accounts for the purpose of trading digital currencies.
Bitcoins and similar units would have already been converted into baht or other ordinary currencies when the funds are deposited in the banks, he said.Facebook.
2 Repatriates Confirmed Covid-19 Positive (June 6)
Phuket Hotels Left Unaware Of Reopenings
Almost 100 Koh Samui Hotels Forced To Sell Due To Covid-19 Crisis
Koh Samui Weather (June 6)
One New Cases, 3 Recoveries – Covid-19 Update (June 5)
Tourism Ministry Wants To Spread Out Songkran Holiday Dates Over The Year
Thailand Developing Thermal Face Scanner
1 Thai, 2 Nigerians Arrested Over Social Media Scams
Durian To Get Odor-Free Packaging
Domestic Tourism Stimulus Measures To Be Decided By Next Week
Frenchmen Use Holiday To Tackle Pollution On Remote Island
Bangkok Airways Waives Fees To Promote Travel
PM Says Only Allow Specific Countries Will be Allowed To Travel To Thailand, Once International Travel Ban Is Lifted
Samui Hotels May Join Chopping Block
20 Thai UK Returnees Have Covid-19 Symptoms
Bangkok Airways To Offer More Flights To Koh Samui
Bars, Entertainment Venues and Massage Parlours Next To Reopen
Bank Of Thailand Ready To Act Against Strengthening Thai Baht
MRT Passenger Mask Giveaway Project Starts Today
Songkran Slated For July If Relaxed Measures Go Smoothly
- Regional News2 months ago
Koh Samui. 7-Eleven and Family Mart close overnight.
- Koh Samui News2 months ago
Samui Covid-19 update
- Breaking News2 months ago
Koh Samui’s first Covid-19 case
- Breaking News3 months ago
One dead, two injured after bar shooting in Samui
- Events2 months ago
Koh Samui is going into full lockdown
- Thailand News2 months ago
Bangkok booze ban and postponed holidays
- Regional News2 months ago
National curfew starts today
- Thai Life2 months ago
Thailand’s government officials extend tourist visas