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28-Year-Old Man Arrested for US$650,000 Bitcoin Fraud

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Police have arrested a 28-year-old man on charges of public fraud for allegedly duping people to invest in Bitcoin online and later fleeing with over US$650,000 (22 Million Baht).

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Phuridej, the commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said that police took Mr Sirichai Nimprem into custody at a house in Kanchanaburi province on Wednesday.

In December of last year, the Phuket Provincial court issued a warrant for Mr Sirichai’s arrest for public fraud.

Using Facebook, he allegedly lured people into investing in Bitcoin with promises of returns of up to 30%. The high return attracted a large number of investors, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said.

In the early stages, the suspect frequently posted photos showing money transfers, in order to convince people that they would receive large dividends from Bitcoin. Later, he claimed that there were problems with money transfers and this caused payouts to be delayed.

He then shut down his Facebook account and was no longer able to be contacted by any of the Bitcoin investors.

Investors reported losses totalling approximately US$668,000 (22 Million Baht) when filing complaints at Phuket police stations, according to Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop.

The Phuket Provincial Court then issued a warrant for his arrest. Mr Sirichai was alleged to have confessed to all charges following his arrest.

Phuket police took him into custody.

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