The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is seeking extradition of four Singapore citizens on the charge of deceiving around 250 victims to trade in a fake firm and lose some Bt235 million, a deputy DSI chief said.
Pol Col Songsak Raksaksakul, deputy DSI director general, said the department is seeking co-operation from Singapore to extradite the four alleged masterminds of the Eagle Gates share-trading scam.
Songsak said DSI officers on Wednesday obtained the Criminal Court's approval to extend the detention period of Derrick Mathew Keller, an American, who was an alleged accomplice.
Songsak said Keller has admitted during interrogation that he is an actor and he was hired to act as the CEO of Eagle Gates to deceive investors in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia and Thailand to trade in imaginary Eagle Gates shares.
Songsak said the gang bought a name of a company that was registered in the US.
The gang then created a website and a fake clip of CNN interviewing Keller about the trading firm. Keller was told to follow a prepared script, the officer said.
Then the gang held a launch ceremony at the Royal Cliff Beach Pattaya during which Keller was flown in on a helicopter to the function held at the hotel's poolside with a concert by well-known singers.
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Songsak said the fake firm than sold four investment packages each of US$1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $50,000 with 3, 6 and 9 per cent yields.
Songsak said the fake firm paid the yields in bitcoin but the investors could not withdraw money unless they could sell bitcoin.
The investors later found that they were defrauded and filed complaints with the police.
Pol Lt Col Phaisit Sangkhahapong, director of the Foreign Affairs and International Crime Division, said the transnational criminal gang had accomplices in several countries.
He added that there were 23 accomplices in Thailand and 12 Thais and a foreigner have been arrested in Thailand.
He said Singapore has issued arrest warrants for alleged masterminds and accomplices in Singapore and Thailand is seeking their extradition.