Surabot Leekpai, a young Democrat Party politician and son of parliament president Chuan Leekpai, is facing accusations of involvement in a fraudulent non-fungible tokens (NFTs) investment project. The alleged fraud has resulted in damages amounting to 15 million baht.
In late 2021, Mr Surabot, also a popular YouTuber known as "Pluem" on his own VRZOChannel, launched the Crypto Ronin NFT project. This project showcased collaborations between influencers and net idols who would become playable characters in his game. The announcement sparked a significant buzz among fans and investors.
An NFT refers to a digital asset, which can take the form of in-game items. Players can acquire these items during gameplay and then trade or sell them for cryptocurrency when they become rare and gain value over time.
Investors poured around 15 million baht into the project following its advertisement of a full release in last year's second quarter. But reports indicated that the game experienced technical issues and was unplayable, leading Mr Surabot to conduct a meeting with investors. During the meeting, he assured them that the game would be released by August. However, the issue remained unresolved, and investors later discovered that the project had not yet been certified by Bitkub Chain, Thailand's popular blockchain network.
Despite the company's announcement of the game's initial launch phase, investors discovered that the gameplay was unprogressive after playing a short portion of it. The full release of the game had been postponed four times, and due to uncertainties surrounding it, Bitkub announced the withdrawal of the game from its registered projects in March.
The situation raised concerns among investors, who suspected potential fraud. They thus filed reports with the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) against Mr Surabot.
According to Siam Blockchain, a Thai cryptocurrency news website, the victims of this were investors who had purchased a special NFT package. This package granted buyers the ability to utilise items in the game to generate income.
In response to the matter, Mr Surabot on Friday stated that his lawyer is handling the situation. He declined to comment on whether this matter would have any potential impacts on his father.
Currently, the channel boasts 6.95 million subscribers.