Thai police nab suspect behind $24M crypto scam

Thai police nab suspect behind $24M crypto scam

In July 26, a warrant for the arrest of Thai actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit was issued by the Criminal Court. Thai police have detained Jiratpisit in August 9 under money laundering charges, according to the Bangkok Post.

Earlier, a Finnish man filed a complaint alleging that Jiratpisit, along with his older brother and sister, fraudulently tricked foreigners into shelling out funds in cryptocurrencies which they said will be used to buy shares in companies investing in an entertainment token called Dragon Coin. The suspects amassed 797 million baht (almost $24 million) from the investors, who never received any dividends afterwards. No shareholders’ meetings ever took place either.

While Jiratpisit denies the allegations, the Crime Suppression Division found that Jiratpisit and his crew withdrew BTC from their e-wallets which they then converted into baht.

As the blockchain industry rapidly evolves, the cryptocurrency space has been continuously besmirched by several scams rising up left and right. Just last week, a scam in South Korea promised investors shipwreck gold. A 20-year old man was also arrested in California for a sim swap scam that targeted cryptocurrency holders. Some criminals even go as far as blackmailing their victims.

Although it’s hard to admit, the space has been polluted by individuals with malicious intentions. In fact, a study by advisory firm Statis Group found that 80% of ICO projects in 2017 were scams.

Apart from this, thieves are also targeting cryptocurrency-related hardware. Last Tuesday, multinational cyber security and defense company Trend Micro published an article on their blog saying they’ve found malware targeting bitcoin ATMs circulating in an online underground markets, being sold for $25,000.

“What we can glean from this is that cybercriminals interested in amassing bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are no longer limiting themselves to cryptomining malware. As long as there is money to be made—and there is quite a bit of money in cryptocurrencies—cybercriminals will continue to devise tools and to expand to lucrative new ‘markets.’ As the number of Bitcoin ATMs grows, we can expect to see more forms of malware targeting cryptocurrency ATMs in the future,” they wrote.

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