Cops set to charge 5 bitcoin scam suspects
The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) will summon five suspects Friday for questioning in connection with the alleged embezzlement in bitcoin scam which cheated Finnish and Thai investors out of 797 million baht.
CSD deputy commander Pol Col Chakrit Sawasdee said investigators want the five suspects to present themselves on Aug 29 to answer charges.
The summonses are for actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit, his elder brother Prinya Jaravijit, his younger brother Tanasit Jaravijit, investor Prasit Srisuwan and businessman Chakris Ahmad. All would face embezzlement charges, according to Pol Col Chakrit.
Mr Jiratpisit and Mr Prinya have already been charged with money laundering.
Mr Jiratpisit, known to his fans as "Boom", was arrested last Thursday during a film-shoot after the Criminal Court issued a warrant on money laundering conspiracy charge.
Mr Jirapisit denied the charge and was released on two-million-baht bail the same day. Mr Prinya, who is still at large, is thought to be in the United States.
Under normal procedure, a summons would be issued first and if Mr Prinya does not show up he will face another arrest warrant, Pol Col Chakrit said.
Pol Col Chakrit said Mr Prinya had contacted him asking if his lawyer could instead give a written explanation regarding the case. Mr Prinya insisted he had not fled but was abroad on business, the deputy commander said. Pol Col Chakrit said he turned down the request.
The five people to be charged were the first group of suspects being lined up for interrogation. Police were still collecting evidence against others. The CSD deputy commander said Mr Prinya had transferred money to his parents' bank accounts who then withdrew millions of baht in each of several transactions. Police were still to decide whether to charge them, he said.
Mr Jiratpisit's recent arrest and the surrender of his elder sister Suphitcha Jaravijit on Wednesday, followed a complaint from Aarni Otava Saarimaa, a 22-year-old Finn, and his Thai partner in January that they had been defrauded out of 797 million baht worth of bitcoin they had transferred to Mr Prinya and his associates.
According to the complaint, they believed they were buying shares in three companies and investing in a casino.