When celebrities and crypto come together, it’s usually to bring positive exposure to the markets, not to collude in a cryptocurrency scam. A well-known Thai actor has been arrested in connection with an alleged crypto scam this week that is making the news right across Thailand.
Thai newspaper, the Bangkok Post, has recently broken a story that popular Thai actor, Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit, has been caught up in an alleged cryptocurrency scam that is worth a reported billion baht, which breaks down to almost USD 24 million.
Caught up in a cryptocurrency scam
The popular Thai actor was arrested in the Chatuchak district of Bangkok earlier this week for his alleged part in the cryptocurrency scam that also involves others. At the time of writing, seven people have been arrested and detained as suspects for being part of the alleged crime.
The older brother and sister of Jiratpist Jaravijit, also known as Boom, were also included in the seven detained for being part of the scam, as crypto crime is on the rise. This is similar to a recent case in India where a famous Bollywood actress was arrested for her part in a high-profile cryptocurrency scam.
The arrests came about after a complaint was filed by a Finnish businessman, Aarni Otava Saarimaa, with arrest warrants issued by a Thai court towards the end of July. The scam is believed to involve the group who allegedly received and withdrew bitcoin before converting into fiat currency and then transferring it back to their accounts. However, Jiratpisit believes he is being detained on charges related to money-laundering.
More details of the alleged scam
The Finnish businessman has alleged that the group promised to buy shares in companies that bought crypto called Dragon Coin. Once the potential investors had bought the coin, the promised dividends failed to materialize, and after six months of being ignored, Saarimaa decided to contact the Thai Royal Police to begin legal proceedings. It is alleged that the group coerced Saarimaa out of almost USD 24 million in the cryptocurrency scam.
2018 and 2017 have been rough years for the industry with the increase in crypto-related cyber scams that have been highly publicized. Whether it is the alarming statistics from the Satis Group who reported that 78% of all ICO projects in 2017 were frauds or the ongoing issues with hacking and cybersecurity that continually affect cryptocurrency exchanges, it is important that the crypto community becomes more vigilant in the face of an upsurge in cryptocurrency crimes and hacks.
As the Thai authorities and SEC tighten their grip on the crypto industry to regulate new ICO projects and newly-proposed crypto exchanges, and with news of the arrests this week, it seems that Thailand is trying to keep one step ahead of the cybercriminals in a bid to protect potential investors and bring confidence to the markets.
As Thailand and the industry experiences more cryptocurrency scams, it gives authorities more reason to clamp down on crypto by removing the anonymity that makes cryptocurrency so appealing in the first place. It’s a slippery slope.
I am very experienced writer/blogger who has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community for several years. I have experience writing for crypto news sites and proactively been involved in the startup of other ICO and crypto ventures over the course of the past four years.