Thai Police to Expand $25 Million Bitcoin Theft Case Investigation

  • A young Thai actor was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly defrauding a Finn out of $25 million worth of bitcoin.
  • New information about the case suggests the accused used the funds to purchase shares of a company and land in his own name.
  • Police continue investigating and plan to bring in more suspects for questioning.

On August 10, CryptoGlobe reported on the alleged theft of $25 million worth of bitcoin belonging to a Finnish investor. Two weeks after the arrest of Jiratpisit Jaravijit, the main suspect in the case, the National Post reports the Thai police are about to take their investigations to the next level.

New Information

As covered, it is alleged that Jiratpisit Jaravijit, a soap opera actor, along with his siblings and other suspects, tricked the Finn to send funds to invest in Expay Software Co. and a cryptocurrency-investing company. Subsequently, the bitcoins were converted into the local currency and deposited into accounts by the perpetrators.

It has since been found out that the funds were deposited into 51 bank accounts owned by 7 individuals. have also uncovered documents that show that Jaravijit actually bought shares in said companies. Other documents also show the actor and his siblings bought land near the Thai capital with the funds. The accused has, however, denied having acquired the assets.

New information now suggests some of the Finn’s money was to be invested in  casino in Macau. He is said to have been promised huge returns from said investments as well.

According to details found in court documents, the young actor and his accomplices are being accused of money laundering and fraud involving $25 million worth of bitcoins received from Aarni Otava Saarimaa, the 22-year-old plaintiff from Finland.

Saarimaa, after several fruitless attempts to get the suspects to send him the returns on his investments, filed a complaint in January. Chonnikarn Kaewsalee, Aarni Saaremaa's Thai business partner helped file the complaint.

Warrants have also been issued for the arrest of the main suspect’s accomplices and siblings. Parinya Jaravijit, the actor’s elder brother has since eloped from the country. Police have also made it clear they would be querying more suspects in the case.

Controlling Thailand’s Crypto Space

In a bid to have more oversight and control over the rapidly growing crypto space, the Thai government imposed new crypto regulations in March. Industry specialists have, however, said there hasn’t been any strict enforcement of these new laws.

The governor of the Bank of Thailand, after clarifying the fraud case was about “misuse of money” and not crypto trading, told citizens to avoid jumping into crypto investments without first studying the basics of crypto investments.

It’s crucial that anyone who wants to invest in high-risk assets such as digital currencies and bitcoin educate themselves and fully understand it

Veerathai Santiprahhob

Hacker Steals $1,200 Worth of ETH Using GitHub Bots

Hackers have managed to steal $1,200 worth of ether (ETH) from a Reddit user after he accidentally left his wallet’s recovery phrase in a GitHub repository for less than two minutes.

According to Reddit user’s post, the hackers have set up automated bots to scrape GitHub – a popular website to publish code and work on projects – looking for cryptocurrency wallets’ private keys, mnemonic phrases, and other private information such as account passwords. The Redditor wrote:

A hacker got my mnemonic and stole $1,200 in ethereum from my Metamask wallet in under 100 seconds. The hackers were using a bot to scan for the mnemonic phrases across GitHub, and I accidentally left it in my code on a GitHub repo while I was sending to a Hack Money hack-at-hon.

The user added that he still has nearly $700 worth of cryptocurrency on the decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol Compound, and that the funds are as good as gone as the bot will siphon the funds out of the wallet as soon as he takes them off of the protocol.

The bots the hacker set up are reportedly automatically submitting transactions to steal the users’ funds whenever they are available, and will even outbid a user-submitted transaction in fees to ensure the malicious transaction is processed by miners first. The user wrote:

Although there are some coins and tokens left, the bot will siphon any ethereum I have to prevent me from moving my coins, and/or outmatch my attempts by supplying more gas.

As CryptoGlobe reported, data from Chainalysis has revealed hackers in the cryptocurrency space have been becoming more active over time, albeit less successful as in 2019 there were eleven major hacks, but none matched the scale of major security breaches that occurred in 2018.

Featured image by Nick Chong on Unsplash.