Thai Authorities Arrest Top Suspect in Multi-Million Dollar Bitcoin Scam

Thai police said they arrested who they believe is the prime suspect in an expansive Bitcoin fraud case that swindled a Finnish investor out of nearly 800 million Thai baht (roughly $24,468,000 dollars).

According to the Bangkok Post, Prinya Jaravijit was apprehended by police after arriving back in the country from the United States via air. He had been staying in the country for a couple of months after his brother was arrested by police for allegedly being involved with the scheme.

Police gave Prinya until mid-September to turn himself over to authorities until they started extradition proceedings, the Bangkok Post reports. He reportedly made the decision to return to Thailand after officials revoked his passport, potentially opening him up for more charges.

An Elaborate Scheme

Prinya, who was wanted by authorities on charges relating to conspiracy and money laundering, reportedly gave confusing testimony to police after undergoing questioning during the night.

Prinya and his affiliates allegedly swindled Finnish investor Aarni Otava Saarimaa out of millions of dollars. Police said Prinya and others involved in the scheme duped Saarimma and his business partner into investing Bitcoin into Dragon Coin and three other companies.

However, those involved in the scam simply stole much of the money and did not actually invest the funds. Aside from Prinya, his older brother, and his parents, have been summoned by police to answer for charges of money laundering in relation to the scheme.

Crypto-Related Crime In Thailand

Cryptocurrencies are getting more and more popular in Thailand and authorities have been gearing up to tackle more crypto-related crime.

CryptoGlobe reported in September how crimes in the country related to cryptocurrencies are most likely going to continue due to a lack of professional knowledge on the sector, and due to a lack of general technology that can be deployed to combat cybercrime.