Prinya Jaravijit, the main suspect in a $34 million Bitcoin scam, was arrested in Thailand after returning to the country.
Justice does not always move in a swift manner. This is cause for considerable angst for many people, especially those who have been victimized. However, law enforcement, while perhaps moving slowly, is usually relentless. After two months, the main person of interest in a Bitcoin scam worth $34 million has been apprehended.
Massive Bitcoin Scam
The suspect in question is Prinya Jaravijit, and he is allegedly part of a scam that saw a Finnish man, Aarni Otava Saarimaa, swindled out of more than 5,500 bitcoins. (Current value of said bitcoins is over $34 million, but they were worth $24 million at the time of the scam.) This scam first came to light in early August.
The victim believed that he was investing in Dragon Coin, but the cryptocurrency he handed over was laundered through several wallets and used to invest in real estate instead. He eventually contacted the police, who then began an investigation.
The Jaravijit family features prominently in the Bitcoin scam. Police arrested Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit, a popular actor in Thailand, for being part of the scam. He maintained his innocence and was eventually released after questioning. Several of the actor’s siblings, notably his older brother Prinya Jaravijit, and his parents have been implicated.
At the time of his arrest, “Boom” said he did not know where his older brother was. It turns out that Prinya Jaravijit was in the United States, where he continued to remain for several months. He was eventually forced to leave the U.S. after Thailand revoked his passport.
When Prinya Jaravijit returned to Thailand, he was promptly arrested by law enforcement at the airport. The charges currently being laid against him include conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Police questioned him after his arrest, wherein he made “confusing accounts” during the questioning.
Police plan on bringing in the older brother of Prinya Jaravijit for questioning this week, along with the parents. The parents are facing the most serious charges as they were the ones who moved the Bitcoin from wallet to wallet.
Unlike most scams, this one has a somewhat happy ending. The bitcoins were eventually returned to the victim, at which point he dropped his complaint against two of the defendants: businessmen Prasit Srisuwan and Chakris Ahmad.
While this case continues to proceed, the authorities have seized assets from Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit and other family members. Law enforcement is also planning on seizing additional assets in the near future.
What do you think in this latest turn in this Bitcoin scam? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bangkok Post.