Suspect in Thai Bitcoin Scam Unable to Return to Thailand Due to Passport Revocation
The Foreign Ministry of Thailand has revoked the passport of an alleged crypto scammer, which has reportedly rendered him unable to return to his home country for prosecution, the Bangkok Post reports Wednesday, Oct. 10.
According to the report, Prinya Jaravijit was in the U.S. after a cryptocurrency investment scheme surfaced in which he and several accomplices allegedly defrauded a Finnish investor of $24 million.
The Crime Suppression Division’s (CSD) deputy commander Pol Col Chakrit Sawasdee claimed on Wednesday that the Foreign Ministry invalidated the passport of the prime suspect Jaravijit.
Sawasdee reportedly ordered the suspect to turn himself in by Monday, but Jaravijit stated that he was not able return to Thailand since his passport was revoked, making his stay in the U.S. illegal. Jaravijit was reportedly in the process of handling his return with the Thai embassy in the U.S.
On Tuesday, the Thai Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) confiscated funds worth $6.4 million from Jaravijit's family and other people connected to the case. Next week, local police are reportedly set to charge the suspect’s family and elder brother with money laundering. The accused allegedly received money from Jaravijit and spent it later.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Jaravijit and his accomplices are accused of defrauding Finnish millionaire Aarni Otava Saarima and his business partner, who were lured into investing their Bitcoin (BTC) in a fake investment scheme involving three companies and gambling-focused crypto token Dragon Coin.
The alleged scammers took their victims to a Macau-based casino, where they claimed the tokens would be used. Saarima subsequently transferred his bitcoins, but never saw returns, nor shareholder papers or proof of investment in Dragon Coin. Saarima approached the CSD with a complaint in January.
The deputy commander reported that the other suspects have all been members of the Jaravijit family, including investor Prasit Srisuwan and businessman Chakrit Ahmad, who reportedly have reached a compensation settlement with the Finnish investor.
The case first came to light in August, when Thai police arrested 27-year old soap-opera star Jiratpisit "Boom" Jaravijit, who is reportedly one of the seven suspects involved in the $24 million crypto scam.