Stock broker says he's also victim in B797m bitcoin case

Stock broker says he's also victim in B797m bitcoin case

Prasit Srisuwan insists on his innocence in the B797m bitcoin theft case at a press conference in Bangkok on Monday. He has been summonsed by police to answer a fraud charge. (Photo by Weerawong Wongpreedee)
Prasit Srisuwan insists on his innocence in the B797m bitcoin theft case at a press conference in Bangkok on Monday. He has been summonsed by police to answer a fraud charge. (Photo by Weerawong Wongpreedee)

Prominent stock investor Prasit Srisuwan on Monday denied he defrauded a Finnish man of 797-million-baht worth of bitcoin invested for the purchase of shares, claiming to also be a damaged party in the case.

Mr Prasit told a press conference that he was only a facilitator in Finnish national Aarni Otava Saarimaa's  purchase of shares in DNA 2002 Plc through Prinya Jaravijit, who failed to deliver the shares after taking the money.

Mr Prinya, who is abroad, is the subject of an arrest warrant in the case.

He reportedly received bitcoin worth 797 million baht from Mr Saarimaa for investment. His younger brother, actor Jiratpisit, and sister, Supitcha, who allegedly received money from him, have already acknowledged police charges in the same case and are free on bail.

Mr Prasit, who described himself as an experienced stock broker, said he had met Mr Prinya through Facebook and then been introduced to Mr Saarimaa and his Thai girlfriend Chonnikan Kaeokasee, who were looking for a lucrative investment. Mr Prasit said he recommended some stock in blockchain and bitcoin-related businesses with potential for growth.

Mr Prasit said Mr Saamiraa was an expert in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and Ms Chonnikan was a financial expert. They chose to invest in DNA 2002 Plc and entrusted him to broker the deal.

According to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, DNA 2002 runs businesses in the home entertainment,  advertising media, and food and beverage sectors.

Mr Prasit said he had lost credibility, his business reputation had suffered, when Mr Prinya failed to deliver all the ordered shares to Mr Saarimaa.

He asked Capt Thammanat Prompao (retired) to help settle the matter. Capt Thammanat convinced Mr Prinya to provide the ordered shares to Mr Saarimaa, who had received 345 million shares in two transactions in November last year.

Mr Prasit said police had summonsed him and he was ready to answer their questions.

Last week the Crime Suppression Division summonsed Mr Prasit and seven other suspects for questioning and acknowledgement of charges.

CSD deputy commander Chakrit Sawasdee said Mr Prasit was among those who would be charged with fraud. They had failed to acquire the 500 million shares in DNA 2002 at 0.50 baht each that they promised Mr Saarimaa and his partner, providing only 345 million shares.

Mr Saarimaa and Ms Chonnikan filed their complaint with police in January this year. They did not accept the reduced number of shares, the CSD deputy commander said.


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