Bitcoin scandal parents insist money from family business

Bitcoin scandal parents insist money from family business

Actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit, right, and his parents speak to reporters at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)
Actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit, right, and his parents speak to reporters at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)

The parents of the 797-million-baht bitcoin fraud suspects denied money-laundering charges on Thursday, saying the 90 million baht received from their eldest son was money from the established family business.

Wisit Jaravijit, 80, and his wife Lertchatkamol, 60, acknowledged and denied charges of collusion in money-laundering at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.

The CSD pressed charges after learning that their son Prinya had transferred 90 million baht into their bank accounts. They suspected the sum was part of the money derived from bitcoin allegedly embezzled from a Finnish investor.

Accompanying his parents, actor Jiratpisit, 27, said they were adamant the money they received was from their family business and did not belong to the investor.

His parents handed evidence of the family's financial transactions over the past 3-4 years to the CSD to support their explanation, Mr Jiratpisit said.

Pol Lt Col Sanphet Noothong, a deputy chief interrogator who pressed the charges, said Mr Wisit and Mrs Lertchatkamol cooperated well and would provide more details of the family's financial transactions involving Mr Prinya within 15 days.

The family at the centre of the bitcoin investment scam said earlier it had nothing to do with the scandal, in which Finnish investor Aarni Otava Saarimaa, 21, was allegedly defrauded of 797 million baht's worth of the cryptocurrency.

According to Mr Jiratpisit, the family has run a restaurant for almost 50 years in Si Racha district of Chon Buri.

Mr Saarima, along with businesswoman Chonnikan Kaewkasee, complained to police in January about losing bitcoins worth 797 million baht to Mr Prinya and his group, who were supposed to invest the money in three firms last year but failed to fulfill the agreement.


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