11 July 2024

The Thai Department of Special Investigation (DSI) plans to seek the extraditions of a Hungarian and a Singaporean, who are among 16 suspects implicated in the Forex-3D foreign exchange investment scam.

The Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on Tuesday for the two fugitives, at the request of the DSI after it learned that they had left the country.

The Hungarian national left Thailand on January 14th, 2000 and the Singaporean flew out of the country on October 25th.

The remaining 14 suspects have already surrendered to the DSI.

Nineteen people, including some celebrities, such as movie actress Savika Chaiyadej, aka “Pinky”, her elder brother and mother, have been prosecuted on charges of defrauding the public and violations of the Computer Crime Act. Savika, her mother and brother are being held on remand, after the court rejected their bail requests.

Apiruk Kothi, the founder of Forex 3-D set up the RMS Familia Company with some friends and created the “Forex 3D” website in March 2015, through which people could invest in foreign exchange futures, with a promise that they would receive dividends of 10% on their investment every month, on the condition that they did not withdraw their principal investment within the first three months.

The company claimed that it used a team of foreign exchange experts and artificial intelligence technology to manage their investments. Existing investors who managed to recruit new investors would be given a special bonus.

Several celebrities were found to have invested in the scheme which was, in fact, a Ponzi scheme.  Some of them made use of their popularity to convince new investors to join them.

Trouble surfaced in late 2018, when the company experienced liquidity problems and delayed making the monthly dividend payments, which continued for several months, prompting nervous investors to demand full refunds.

Over 9,000 investors have now lodged complaints with the DSI, involving total investments of about two billion baht, but the actual number of investors is believed to be much higher and the total amount invested is believed to be as much as 20 billion baht.