Thai authorities arrest 5 in 3,200-victim, $27M crypto scam

Authorities in Thailand arrested five foreign nationals linked with a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment platform that fleeced over $27 million from local investors.

According to an initial report from the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) arrested four individuals from China and one from Laos for orchestrating a fraudulent investment scheme that duped more than 3,200 locals.

The CCIB began investigating the operation with the assistance of the United States Homeland Security Investigations and other international law enforcement agencies after affected investors came forward in late 2022, claiming they had lost investments made through

The five accused were arrested and charged with colluding to commit transnational crime, public fraud and money laundering. 

The Office of the Attorney General in Thailand moved to prosecute the suspects in August 2022, before the Anti-Money Laundering office confiscated 585 million Thai baht worth of personal property from the accused.

Related: Thailand’s next prime minister Srettha Thavisin has crypto history

CCIB spokesperson Kissana Phathanacharoen said that investment schemes continue to cause the most financial damage among scams reported in the country. Victims are said to invest their life savings into the schemes or take out mortgages on homes or properties.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission issued new requirements in January 2023 for virtual asset service providers in the country aimed at increasing investor protection and safeguarding user funds held by custody providers.

As a recent Cointelegraph report uncovered, scammers have gone as far as targeting MetaMask users using government-owned website URLs to trick victims and access their crypto wallet holdings.

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