Man arrested over B22m Bitcoin investment fraud

Man arrested over B22m Bitcoin investment fraud

Sirichai Nimprem, 29, wearing glasses, reads an arrest warrant issued by the Phuket Provincial Court for public fraud, as police arrest him at a house in Muang district of Kanchanaburi province on Wednesday. (Photo supplied: Wassayos Ngamkham)
Sirichai Nimprem, 29, wearing glasses, reads an arrest warrant issued by the Phuket Provincial Court for public fraud, as police arrest him at a house in Muang district of Kanchanaburi province on Wednesday. (Photo supplied: Wassayos Ngamkham)

A 28-year-old man accused of persuading people to invest in cryptocurrency online and later fleeing with 22 million baht has been arrested in Kanchanaburi on a charge of public fraud.

Police commandoes took Sirichai Nimprem into custody at a house in tambon Pak Phraek of Muang district, Kanchanaburi province on Wednesday, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Phuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said. 

Mr Sirichai was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Phuket Provincial court on Dec 16 last year for public fraud.

He allegedly lured people into investing in stocks and Bitcoin, via Facebook and gaming service Steam, with promised returns of up to 30%. The high return attracted many investors, the CIB chief said.

During the initial stage, the suspect often posted photos showing money transfers, to convince people they would receive large dividends. Later, he claimed there had been problems with money transfers and this caused delays in making payouts. 

Finally, he closed his Facebook account and could not be contacted by any of his members.

 Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said investors reported losses totalling about 22 million baht when filing complaints at police stations in Phuket. The Phuket Provincial Court issued a warrant for his arrest.

After his arrest, Mr Sirichai allegedly confessed to all charges. He was handed over to Phuket police.

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