DSI to investigate cryptocurrency pyramid scheme

DSI to investigate cryptocurrency pyramid scheme

Victims of a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme where losses amounted to around 75 million baht have asked the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to take up their case.

Phadungsak Tienpairoj, the leader of a human rights foundation, on Wednesday took about 20 victims of the pyramid scheme to the DSI.

The lawyer proceeded to ask the DSI to take up the case -- which had been handled by Ko Lanta police station in Krabi province -- as it had caused many people across the region to lose millions of baht.

The cryptocurrency trading scheme, called "Khung Nong Cryptocurrency Trading", became famous in the southern region in 2018. Promising returns of as much as 8% per week, many local people in Krabi, Trang, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat pledged and sold their assets, land, cars and motorcycles to get money to invest in it.

The scheme grew quickly as it used recruiters to entice more investors. The scheme promised that for every 100,000 baht of investment, investors would receive 8,000 baht in interest every week.

The bogus investment scheme started in October 2018 and ended the following February when the operator stopped paying dividends, citing the macroeconomic meltdown.

One victim, Noopad Wachedi, from Koh Lanta district of Krabi, said she pledged land to get more money to invest. Then one of the operators of the scheme gave her a cheque which bounced.

She added there are about six groups with four members each and her recruiter claimed the investment was overseen by state officers.

Ms Noopad's relative, another victim, said the recruiters used several tricks to maintain the trust of investors.

Pol Capt Thas Laothawee, deputy director of the Bureau of Illegal Financial Business Crime who received their complaints yesterday, said the DSI is looking into the case.


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