A Thai man who nicknamed himself “cryptocurrency wizard” has been arrested in Bangkok over his alleged role in a 500 million baht ($16.3 million) crypto exchange fraud.
According Bangkok Post report on Sept. 5, police nabbed 48 years old Mana Jumuang, who has been under an arrest warrant since Aug. 23, while he was playing soccer in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district yesterday.
Per the report, Pol Maj Gen Jiraphop Phuridet, commander of the Bangkok police’s Crime Suppression Division, Jumuang is accused of being part of a Thai-Vietnamese criminal group that targeted victims across at least 10 Asian countries, including South Korea and Vietnam.
The seven members suspects are reported that four are from Vietnamese while three Thai.
The scheme involved persuading victims to invest in cryptocurrencies through them, with each group member being assigned a responsibility for a particular role, such as opening bank accounts and posing as digital asset investors.
The victims reportedly received their initial returns on their investments, but contact with the group was then abruptly cut off, the police claim.
It is estimated that victims’ reported losses 500 million baht ($16.3 million). Jumuang is himself accused of having spent some of the ill-gotten funds to purchase land in Thailand’s Phichit province.
Police continue to pursue the two other Thai suspects, while the four Vietnamese members are believed to have already fled the country, Pol Maj Gen Jiraphop Phuridet revealed.
While Mana Jumuang may have devised an illustrious-sounding nickname for himself, last summer a bonafide Thai celebrity was arrested for his alleged role in 797 million baht ($24.6 million) Bitcoin investment heist.
27-year-old Thai soap-opera star Jiratpisit "Boom" Jaravijit was arrested on money-laundering charges after working with six accomplices — including his siblings — to allegedly lure investors into investing their crypto into a gambling-focused token, without ever providing them with returns.