Alleged Bitcoin Mining Scam Reported in Thailand

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Victims of an alleged cryptocurrency mining scam have filed claims against the suspected perpetrator with the Technology Crime Suppression Division in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reports on Feb. 18.

Per the report, 30 people have filed a complaint with police, stating that they were fooled into an alleged investment scam called “CryptoMining.Farm.” This purportedly led the loss of 42 million baht ($1.34 million). Local authorities reportedly suspect that a total of 140 individuals were affected by the scam.

CryptoMining.Farm, which has offices registered in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, supposedly promised investors an annual return of 70 percent in addition to the option to withdraw their funds at any time with no conditions. The Bitcoin (BTC) mining contracts offered by the company reportedly ranged from three months to a lifetime.

One affected individual told the Bangkok Post “But from August the owner began imposing conditions for withdrawing the money. Then at the start of this month, the site announced it would start paying back investors in 84 instalments — which would take over seven years to complete.” The source, which reportedly preferred to remain anonymous, said that the payments would also be made in foreign currencies, which is illegal under Thai law.

The most recent allegations follow a well-publicized case from last year, in which a former soap opera actor Jiratpisit «Boom» Jaravijit and other suspects were accused of swindling $24 million worth of Bitcoin from 21-year-old Finnish investor Aamai Otava Saarimaa.

The suspects, who were charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, reportedly pleaded “not guilty” at a court in Bangkok in November 2018.

Last May, a 100-section royal decree published in the Thai Royal Gazette, defined cryptocurrencies as “digital assets and digital tokens.” In November, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam called for more regulations on cryptocurrencies. Krea-ngam said that new guidelines must be introduced in order to keep up with evolving tactics and threats to consumer security.