The suspect reportedly worked with others to steal unsuspecting victims through a fake cryptocurrency system
This weekend, the Thai Crime Suppression Division arrested Mana Jumuang for running a cryptocurrency system in which victims lost their money between 2018 and 2019. The 50-year-old is said to have been the mastermind behind the fraud operation. He illegally raised more than 500 million baht (the equivalent of nearly $ 15 million) before abandoning investors.
According to a story in the Bangkok Post, Jumuang had co-conspirators with whom he carried out the plan. He is said to have attracted both domestic and foreign victims by promising them that after 200 days of investment he would make huge profits on the order of 400%.
Jumuang presented itself to investors as a crypto guru in order to gain their trust, the good returns from the Cryptocurrency Onecoin promises. Not knowing that it is only a scam to steal from them, the unsuspecting investors would invest huge sums of money in the fraudulent system.
Classic Ponzi scheme
Regarding the case, Police Maj. Gen. Montri Thetkhan, who heads the crime-fighting department, said Jumuang and his accomplice are posing as business people and claiming they are experts in digital asset trading. They tricked investors into doing business in food, cosmetics, vehicles and clothing.
To sell the program and attract more investors, Jumuang paid dividends to previous participants. He became unreachable when the amount injected into the program hit 500 million baht. Investors began filing reports after Jumuang and his “partners” went offline, which resulted in Thai authorities issuing an arrest warrant. He was arrested in May 2019 but fled after being released on bail. It is reported that Jumuang had been issued a total of 14 arrest warrants prior to his arrest on Saturday.
The scheme is similar to that of the ‘Cryptoqueen’
Authorities are investigating the matter to see if Jumuang’s fraudulent scheme is linked to a previous Ponzi scheme surrounding Onecoin. The latter was administered by the Bulgarian convicted fraudster Ruja Ignatova, dubbed “Cryptoqueen” by the media.
Ignatova’s scheme defrauded victims from around the world by about $ 4 billion between 2014 and 2016 before going missing in 2017. Before establishing the Ponzi scheme, which ran under the cryptocurrency coin OneCoin, Ignatova defrauded funds in another system called BigCoin. OneCoin has been described as a fake cryptocurrency because it is not traded and cannot be used to make payments for purchases. It was launched in September 2014 by Ignatova and her brother with the help of Sebastian Greenwood.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch