|Aug 11, 2018 07:41 PM||By: Ben Noble | 3949 Views|
Thai actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit has been delivered on a 2 million Thai baht (approximately US$60,000) bail following his arrest over alleged money laundering in a bitcoin fraud case. As a section of the conditions for his release, the actor commonly known as ‘Boom’ will be required to reside in Thailand.
The 27-year-old television and commercials actor was nabbed on Thursday in Thailand’s capital Bangkok while filming. It is claimed that Jaravijit was part of a gang that defrauded a Finnish national nominated Aarni Otava Saarimaa more than 5,000 bitcoins on the pretext that they would obtain shares in firms that had made investments in the Dragon Coin cryptocurrency. Saarimaa, 22, accused this year on January 30, six months after he got to know the perpetrators of the fraud.
Per the chief of Crimes Suppression Division, Major General Maitree Chimcherd, the gang that involved Jaravijit’s older siblings, the commitments made to Saarimaa by the gang never emerged.
“The gang lured the offering to transfer 5,564 bitcoins to its e-wallet, claiming the payment was for the shares of three firms, including DNA 2002 Public Company Limited,” stated Chimcherd. “But he never acquired the shares after making the transfer.”
After obtaining the bitcoins, Chimcherd announced that the cryptocurrency holdings were converted into THB before being transferred to bank accounts belonging to Jaravijit’s siblings and subsequently numerous other members of the gang. According to Chimcherd, the value of the bitcoins at the time of the conversion was 797 million bhat (nearly US$24 million at current USD/THB exchange rate). Warrants of arrest have also been published against the siblings of the actor who are currently overseas.
So far title deeds to various plots of land which are believed to have been acquired using the proceeds of the scam have also been seized by Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office. Additionally, bank accounts belonging to 51 suspects have been suspended by the anti-money laundering agency.
An elder brother of Jaravijit, Parinya, reportedly maintains more than US$3.3 million in his bank account while the bank account of his elder sister named Supitcha includes approximately US$4.2 million. Jaravijit’s bank account, on the other hand, possesses US$649,000. Separate bank accounts of alleged gang members contain amounts varying between US$2 million and US$4.9 million.
In his defense, Jaravijit has announced innocence is assuming his brother Parinya used his bank account. Though Parinya is on the run, Supitcha has reportedly sought a conversation with the police, according to The Nation.