Bitcoin scam hits temples

Bitcoin scam hits temples

A network of Buddhists in Uttaradit has asked the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to investigate a gang who convinced people at temples to invest in the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Charoenporn Unpranit, a representative of the network, yesterday submitted a letter asking the DSI to probe the gang. DSI spokesman Voranan Srilam received the letter on the department's behalf.

Ms Charoenporn told reporters she believed the gang members only pretended to be Buddhists.

After the gang began to gain the trust of people, they would get them to invest in their bitcoin fund with a minimum investment of 38,000 baht for one bitcoin.

The gang claimed the investment would yield returns 300 days after the investment and that if people got others to invest as well, they would receive a higher return.

The gang also referred to a senior monk as the main investor and said the bitcoin fund was backed by a state bank.

However, after Ms Charoenporn checked with the monk and the state bank, she found the gang had lied to the investors.

The Bank of Thailand does not recognise bitcoin as legal tender in Thailand.

"I was also persuaded by a gang member myself," Ms Charoenporn said.

"But I did not join it. I was not convinced by them [the gang members]. But I have learned that the gang managed to persuade about 700-800 Buddhist followers in Uttaradit, Pathum Thani and Chiang Mai to invest in the fund by infiltrating temples."

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