Authorities have uncovered a Chinese-led gang that exploited the reputation of a notable jewelry brand to deceive people into a fake gold investment project worth billions of baht.
During the past week, 26 suspects were arrested in raids across Bangkok, Chon Buri, and Chiang Mai, including six Chinese nationals, said Central Investigation Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej on Tuesday. In total, there are 50 suspects in the case.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said that these scammers operated from Thailand and wrongfully used the brand of a recognized jewelry producer, Aurora Design, to entrap their targets.
The chief detailed that the criminal operation was led by five individuals: four from China and a Thai woman, named Aixia Liu, 48, Long Huabiao, 38, Yangfeng Xiao, 29, Liang Wang, 28, and Sakuna Chansuk, 44.
Arrests of the Chinese members took place in Bangkok and Chon Buri, but the names of two Chinese individuals were not disclosed.
The group created a fake Facebook page under the name “Aurora Design”, promising returns of 20-30%. However, when investors tried to collect their earnings, they were shut out and communication ceased.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop mentioned that the majority of the apprehended individuals denied the accusations. The police seized cryptocurrency valued at approximately 28 million baht from them for further investigation.
The chief revealed that over 1.2 billion baht was identified in the gang’s operations. The culprits used Thai representatives to handle three proxy businesses for their financial transactions.
The CIB head explained that the defrauded funds went through three stages of transfers within Thai intermediary accounts before being sent to foreign accounts. Portions of these funds were used both domestically and for international purchases.
These items were then shipped to Cambodia and Laos to be exchanged for cash. In addition, the obtained money was invested in digital currency or real estate acquisitions.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop emphasized that this particular gang operated directly from Thailand, unlike call-based frauds that often originate from neighboring countries. The investigation is still ongoing.