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Police Busts $24 Million Bitcoin Scam In Thailand

Thai police have busted an alleged $24 million Bitcoin scam after arresting a 27-year-old actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit, as reported by Bangkok post on August 9.

Jaravijit is not the only law offender as there are six more persons involved in the fraud, including the actor’s older brother and sister. The criminal court, on July 26, issued an arrest warrant against the actor after a Finnish man identified as Aarni Otava Saarimaa filed a complaint claiming that Jaravijit hoaxed foreigners into investing 797 million bahts (which amounts to $24 million) of digital currency. Jiratpisit denies the charges of money laundering that have been pressed on him.

The scam was executed when the scamsters started asking people to purchase shares of the companies, that in turn, invested in Dragon Coin, a Thai cryptocurrency. The victims noticed when they neither received any dividends nor were invited to any of the Shareholders’ meetings. Apparently, the criminals emptied Bitcoin from their digital wallets and then later converted it into Baht.

It was eventually discovered that the ‘companies’ did not invest in Dragon Coin after all. The gang members repeatedly dodged questions when inquired about what was happening.

A similar hoax surfaced last week in South Korea where the Shinil group promised its investors that it found the remains of 113 year old Russian warship Dmitri Donskoi. In order to encourage the investors to buy their cryptocurrency, the company guaranteed the gullible investors indemnification by gold from the ship. The offer attracted over 100,000 investors with investments worth 60 million won ($53.7 million) but it was all in vain as the ship hardly contained anything of value.

Recently, a BTC automatic teller machine (ATM) malware uncovered by Trend Micro was available for purchase online. Trend Micro is a security software manufacturer based out of Tokyo. Its advertisement has been posted on a darknet forum by an “apparently established and respected” user. Advert claims that for $25000 one can get hold of the BTC malware with a ready-to- use card with EMV and Near Communication Fields (NCF) as additional features.

Ease with which the investors are being targeted by the criminals is plaguing the industry. The alarming rate at which the scams are being reported calls for immediate corrective measures.

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