The case of the $34 million Bitcoin scam in Thailand continues as the family behind the alleged scam plead not guilty.
The wheels of justice are slowly, but surely, grinding forward in the case of a massive Bitcoin scam in Thailand. Last year, a Finnish man had over 5,000 bitcoins conned from him in an investment scheme. At the time, the coins were worth $24 million but are now worth over $30 million. Now members of the family that lies at the heart of the scam have officially entered their pleas in court.
Massive Bitcoin Scam
The entire scam began when Aamai Otava Saarimaa, a young man from Finland, was persuaded to invest over 5,000 bitcoins. This investment was supposed to be used to purchase Dragon Coin, a cryptocurrency used for gambling purposes, as well as for purchasing stock in several companies.
However, his Bitcoin investment was not used in such a manner. The Jaravijit family took control of the funds. The main figures in this Bitcoin scam appear to be Prinya Jaravijit and his younger siblings, Supitcha and Jiratpisit (a popular actor that goes by “Boom”). The parents of the siblings apparently moved the bitcoins around to various wallets in order to launder it.
When the victim filed a complaint with police, two of the siblings were brought in for questioning and eventually released on bail. However, Prinya Jaravijit had fled to America, where he remained for several months until his passport was revoked. Once he returned to Thailand, he was arrested.
Pleading Not Guilty
The siblings have finally made an appearance at court wherein they were arraigned on charges of collusion and conspiracy to launder money. The three siblings then entered pleas of not guilty.
The next court date for this case is December 24th when the evidence and witness lists will be examined. In the meantime, Prinya Jaravijit remains in custody at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
The case doesn’t look too good for the siblings. While the victim dropped his complaint after getting his bitcoins back, law enforcement is still pressing forward with multiple charges. The parents face serious charges due to fact that they were the ones moving the stolen cryptocurrency from wallet to wallet.
The family used the funds generated from the con to buy real estate in various locations. Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit spent 43 million baht ($1.3 million USD) in the Chatuchak district of Bangkok back in October 2017. Prinya Jaravijit spent 124 million baht (almost $3.8 million USD) buying seven blocks of land in the Nonthaburi province as well as the Chatuchak and Din Daeng districts in Bangkok. These purchases were made in October and November 2017. Then the sister, Supitcha Jaravijit, bought six blocks of land in the Chatuchak district for 8.5 million baht (almost $260,000) in December 2016.
Needless to say, that’s a lot of real estate being bought after the bitcoins were cashed out. Now we’ll have to wait until the end of the year for the next chapter in this ongoing case.
Have you ever been the victim of a Bitcoin scam? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bangkok Post.