Famous Thai Actor Pleads Not Guilty in $24 Million Bitcoin Scam


A month ago, Newconomy reported about the Thai police arresting actor Prinya Jaravijit for allegedly being involved in a list of crimes including fraud, collusion, and a money laundering scheme. The prosecutors have charged him of collusion and conspiracy to launder money.

Jaravijit’s entire family is accused of defrauding the 21-year-old Finnish millionaire Aarni Otava Saarima and his business partner – Thai businessman Chonnikan Kaeosali. Allegedly, they were lured into investing their bitcoins in a fake investment scheme.

Saarima and Kaeosali transferred bitcoins as part of an investment that involved the Macau casino and the Dragon Coin. However, they never saw returns nor shareholder papers or proof of their investment in Dragon Coin. According to the police investigation, the perpetrators sold the cryptocurrency and transferred the money into various bank accounts.

“This case is complicated. We had to carefully examine documents and follow the money trail. We collaborated with AMLO, and it took us almost seven months to get the approval for the arrest warrants of the first group,” said a representative of the Thai police.

Picture 1. Thai cryptocurrency scam (Source: Bangkok post)

The Foreign Ministry of Thailand has revoked the passport of the prime suspect, Prinya Jaravijit. He, however, said he could not return to Thailand from the United States, as a result of the decision from the Foreign Ministry. In addition, the Thai Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) confiscated funds in the worth of $6.4 million.

Prinya was arrested last month upon his return from the United States and was being held in the Bangkok Remand Prison. Meanwhile, he was released on bail.

According to Bangkok Post, Prinya and his younger siblings Supitcha and Jiratpisit entered pleas of not guilty to money-laundering charges on Wednesday.

The Criminal Court set Dec 24 for the examination of the witness and evidence lists.