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

7 Arrested Following Kidnapping and Attempted 80 Bitcoin Ransom in India

Samuel Haig

Six men and one woman were arrested in India on July 14th for kidnapping three people in an attempted ransom that saw the assailants demand 80 bitcoins in exchange for their victims' safety.

The three victims were rescued after being held captive for more than 15 days following a 13-hour search operation of an 11-story apartment in Jaipur, the capital city of India’s Rajasthan state. Five of the individuals arrested are members of a gang based in the North Indian state of Haryana who have been involved with multiple cases of kidnapping, extortion, and robbery.

Kidnapper Accidentally Arrested During Search for Stolen SUV

Deputy commissioner of Jaipur West police, Vikas Sharma, stated that police accidentally encountered one of the abductors during the search for a stolen SUV traced to a township on the Ajmer highway. "When the police team entered the township, a man was seen fleeing. He was caught and upon questioning he told police that three men were held hostage in a flat for several days," he stated.

After using CCTV footage to identify the apartment blocks in which the captives were being held, deputy commission Sharma stated that  “Police teams from six police stations and commandos from anti-terror squad were called in for a search operation.”

The seven individuals arrested were identified as 21-year-old Jitendra Kumar, 22-year-old Deepak Kumar, 19-year-old Anupam Soni, 20-year-old Pawan Kumar, 19-year-old Bhawani Singh, 19-year-old Rahul Kumar, and 24-year-old Lokendra Singh. All of the kidnappers are from Haryana except for Lokendra Singh, who is from Rajasthan.

Jaipur police are yet to determine whether other individuals were also involved in the kidnapping.

Victims Were Tortured While Held in Captivity

Jaipur police revealed the identities of the three rescued individuals as 19-year-old Luftan Shaikh of Mahrashtra, 44-year-old Malang Shah of Andhra Pradsh, and 36-year-old Mohammad Shazad of Rajasthan.

Deputy commissioner Sharma stated that “The gang kidnapped Shaikh and Shazad, two bitcoin traders, and demanded 80 bitcoins worth ₹8 crore (approximately $1,165,880). Shah was kidnapped two days later. The gang demanded ₹10 lakh (roughly $14,573.50) from his family members.”

Luftan and his friend Shahjad were lured to Jaipur under the guise of an offer the purchase BTC below market value via an in-person transaction, while Shah, who operates a trust, believed he was traveling to Jaipur to negotiate a contribution.

Deputy commissioner Sharma stated that the kidnappers “wanted to extort money from the trio. They held them hostage in the flat and had threatened to kill them if the demands were not met. The victims told police of being badly beaten with “belts, sticks, and other things” during their captivity, with one individual left unable to walk properly.

Jaipur police also seized “two pistols, one country-made gun and three SUVs” during the operation.