Cryptocurrency Millionaire Lost 5,564.4 Bitcoins In An Investment Scam

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A Finnish investor and cryptocurrency millionaire is said to have been scammed over 5,500 bitcoins in Thailand.

Aarni Otava Saarimaa, a businessman from Finland, was made to believe he would be investing in a number of stocks in three companies namely Expay Group, NX Chain Inc and DNA 2002 Plc.

He also was made to believe he would be getting shares in a casino project as well as buy into a new crypto project called Dragon Coin.

The 22-year-old crypto investor lost the bitcoins to a gang that includes a well-known Thai film actor and two of his siblings. Also wanted by police in relation to the scam are six other individuals connected to the fraud.

According to a media report carried in the Bangkok Post, the alleged scam has drawn huge interest from the public.

Media reports this Monday indicate that the group approached Saarimaa in June 2017 after one of the siblings received a tip from a local banker.

The enticements dangled by the 9 people were enough to see the unsuspecting Finn buy into the fraudulent scheme. It included the promise that the Dragon Coins could be used at a Macau casino.

The gang even went as far as taking the victim to the casino where the said Dragon Coins would be used, all part of an elaborate plan to dupe him. In the end, the crypto millionaire transferred bitcoins totaling 5,564.4 to the group.

But after Saarimaa realized that he had been taken for a ride, he filed a complaint this past January with the Crime Suppression Division (CSD). The police unit investigated the allegations leading to the arrest of Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit on July 26.

The CSD’s initial findings indicate that the Jaravijit siblings together with the six unnamed individuals sold the bitcoins and deposited the $24 million (nearly 800 million baht) into seven accounts.

The police department in Thailand has labeled the case as being complicated. It says that they had to examine several documents before they went after the money trail.

To facilitate the arrests, the CSD sought the collaboration of the Anti Money Laundering unit (Amlo). The investigators took nearly seven months before being granted approval to arrest the siblings.

One of the siblings Prinya Jaravijit, whom police suspect to be the mastermind has since fled to the U.S. The other, Suphitcha Jaravijit has contacted the police and could meet them soon.

The CSD report has also indicated that authorities have frozen over 50 bank accounts and several plots of land as investigations into the fraudulent scheme continues.

It’s alleged that the crypto investor may be able to recoup some of the losses if the suspects return the loot.

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