Crime Suppression Division Police have detained a 50-year-old man accused of duping Thais and foreigners into investing in cryptocurrency then fleeing with over US$14 million. He was arrested in Bangkok on Saturday morning.
CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Montri Thetkhan told reporters that Mr Mana Jumuang was arrested outside a house at Ram Intra Soi 34 in Bang Khen district.
A warrant was issued by the Phichit provincial court on Dec 23 for the arrest of Mr Mana, who was wanted for collusion in public fraud.
Police say the suspect claimed to be a digital currency trader in 2018 and 2019. However, he was working with accomplices in Thailand and Vietnam, police said.
In order to attract potential victims, Mana claimed to be a cryptocurrency expert and promised high returns. The man told investors that if they invested for a mere 200 days, they could earn a 400% return on their investment.
People were fooled into investing in a digital currency called Onecoin, which they claimed to be buying and selling on a trading platform form. Among the goods on sale were houses, cars, land plots, gold, food supplements, cosmetics, and also clothing.
The suspect also promised excellent returns in the form of gold, Mercedes cars and luxury houses, which attracted many Thais and foreign investors.
Investors received dividends from the suspect in the initial stages of their Ponzi scheme. But as the number of investors kept growing and the amount invested reached 500 million baht, the suspect and his colleagues were unable to be contacted.
Police stations across the country received complaints from the damaged parties. He was located by CSD officers in late 2019 after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
According to the CSD commander, the man was brought to court and released on bail but jumped bail later and another warrant was issued for his arrest.