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Thai Actor Maintains Innocence with $24 Million Bitcoin Fraud

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:36 PM
Jimmy Aki
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:36 PM

The charges on famous Thai actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit and his sibling, Thanasit Jaravijit were heard earlier this week in court concerning an alleged bitcoin fraud worth nearly a billion baht (about $24 million), according to a local news outlet.

The popular soap actor showed up at court well ahead of schedule but tried to avoid reporters who kept asking about his siblings and his involvement in the scam. According to the news outlet, Boom continues to maintain his innocence in the fraud, despite incriminating evidence held by the Bangkok Crime Suppression Division (CSD) against him including an “electronic account” under his name used to receive bitcoin deposits.

After a grueling interrogation with the authorities, Boom told reporters he had nothing to do with the incidence and neither was he in contact with the prime suspect in the case—his elder brother—Parinya Jaravijit.

Boom was arrested at a film location on August 8, 2018, where he was charged  with money laundering. According to the complaints made by Finnish businessman, Aarni Otava Saarimaa, Boom and his accomplices had promised high growth returns to investors who invested in DNA 2002 Plc shares, a bitcoin-related business. Renowned stock exchange investor Prasit Srisuwan brokered the deal, but the investors didn’t get the stock as promised, neither were they called for a shareholders meeting.

Srisuwan, who brokered the deal, is also subject to an arrest warrant. He told reporters last month that he was a victim in the case and not a culprit. CSD deputy commander Chakrit Sawasdee had argued that Srisuwan will still be charged with fraud on the basis of collecting $24 million worth of Bitcoin from Saarimaa without delivering the 500 million shares in DNA 2002 at 0.50 baht each. According to the authorities, the bitcoin scam gang allegedly exchanged Saarimaa’s bitcoin for baht and then laundered the money through a series of bank accounts.

Featured image from Shutterstock.