Prinya Jaravijit Arrested in Thailand, Accused of $24 Million Bitcoin Scam

Thai citizen Prinya Jaravijit, who allegedly defrauded a Finnish investor of $24 Million worth of Bitcoin (BTC), has recently been detained in Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, the Bangkok Post reports Friday, Oct. 12.

According to the newspaper, Jaravijit arrived in Bangkok on a flight from South Korea en route from the U.S., where he allegedly spent two months after his brother’s detention in connection with the same crime.

Jiratpisit 'Boom' Jaravijit
Police took handcuffed 27-year-old soap actor Jiratpisit ‘Boom’ Jaravijit (centre) from the Crime Suppression Division to the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Friday, the day after his birthday.

Shortly after the arrest Jaravijit, who was wanted on charges of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, was delivered to local police where he was questioned. His lawyers are reportedly preparing to apply for bail.

As per the Bangkok Post, in January Finnish investor Aarni Otava Saarimaa along with his Thai business partner Chonnikan Kaewkasee complained to the Thai Crime Suppression Division (CSD).

They claimed that Jaravajit along with six other suspects had duped them into investing $24 million worth of BTC into a scheme involving three companies and gambling-focused crypto token Dragon Coin (DRG).

However, Saarima and Kaewkasee never received any dividends from the so-called investment, proof of investment in DRG, nor were they invited to a shareholder’s meeting. CSD states that the funds were withdrawn from their BTC wallets converted into baht and then spent by the alleged fraudsters.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the case came to public attention when soap-opera actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit — Prinya’s younger brother — was detained in August.

In October, the Thai Money Laundering Office confiscated funds worth $6.4 million from Jaravijit’s family and other people connected to the case and is preparing to charge the suspects with fraud.

Following the detention of his brother, Prinya Jaravijit reportedly fled to the U.S. to avoid charges.

He was ordered to return to Thailand by Oct. 8 but failed to do so. The Thai Foreign Ministry then revoked his passport which made his further stay in the U.S. illegally.

Above Article From Cointelegraph.com.

$6.4 Million of Thai Actor’s Family Assets Seized in $24 Million Bitcoin Fraud Case

Ten months after a Finnish national filed a complaint after losing 5,564 bitcoins to fraudsters in Thailand, the family of the Thai television actor Jiratpisit ‘Boom’ Jaravijit is now the target of the country’s anti-money laundering agency about the scam.

According to The Nation, Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has seized assets worth 210 million baht (approximately US$6.4 million) belonging to the Jaravijit family over their involvement in the bitcoin fraud case in which a Finnish national, Aarni Otava Saarimaa, lost bitcoins which were worth approximately US$24 million at the time the crime occurred.

Prinya Jaravijit: Bank Accounts and Land

Per the AMLO, the assets which have been seized from Jiratpisit include five bank accounts. Two of the bank accounts had a combined balance of around 4 million baht.

Additionally, a plot of land registered in the actor’s name estimated to be worth 43 million baht was also seized bringing the combined value of his confiscated assets to 47 million baht (US$1.4 million).

Other members of the Jaravijit family whose assets were also seized include the actor’s elder brother, Prinya Jaravijit, and the sister, Supitcha Jaravijit.

Just like with Jiratpisit, the assets seized in the case of Prinya and Supitcha were also bank accounts and plots of land. Assets belonging to other non-members of the Jaravijit family believed to have acted as accomplices or accessories to the crime were also confiscated.

The decision to confiscate the assets was made by the transaction committee of the anti-money laundering agency which resolved to seize 64 items in addition to interest.

The confiscation order will be in effect for a period of 90 days, running from August 14 to November 11, 2018. According to the AMLO, victims of wrongful seizures will have an opportunity to appeal.

“Anyone whose assets are unrelated to the alleged wrongdoing and wrongly confiscated may file their appeal with the AMLO secretary-general within 30 days of learning about this order,” said the anti-money laundering agency.

The Genesis

As previously reported by CCN, the scheme to defraud Saarimaa was allegedly masterminded by Prinya who is said to have invited the Finn to make an assortment of investments including stocks listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand as well as in two companies NX Chain Inc and Expay Software.

Saarimaa went on to transfer his bitcoin holdings worth 797 million baht at the time (approximately US$24 million) to Prinya’s wallet.

But instead of making the investments as promised, Prinya diverted the funds to bank accounts belonging mostly to members of his family with some of the money being used to buy parcels of land. Saarimaa filed a complaint with the Thai police in January this year.