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The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) in Thailand is investigating an alleged pyramid scheme that sucked in 75 million baht, worth $2.47 million.
According to local reports, Phadungsak Tienpairoj, a lawyer and the leader of a local human rights foundation, brought 20 of its victims to the DSI on Wednesday to complain. Police captain Thas Laothawee, deputy director of the Bureau of Illegal Financial Business Crime, said the DSI “is looking into the case.”
The cryptocurrency scheme in question, called "Khung Nong Cryptocurrency Trading," was launched in October 2018 in several Thai provinces. It promised up to eight percent returns per week. Many of its victims reportedly pledged and sold their property, such as cars, motorcycles and even land, to invest.
According to Noopad Wachedi, one of the victims, the scheme was operated by around six groups with four members in each.
Recruiters were sent out to entice investors, helping the scheme to grow rapidly in a short time. In February 2019, just a few months after its launch, "Khung Nong’s” operator ceased to pay dividends to those involved, citing a “macroeconomic meltdown.” Many investors lost money as a result.
Pyramid schemes and scams in general are a dime a dozen in the cryptosphere. As Decrypt reported last November, OneCoin and its “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova, raised potentially up to $50 billion from investors around the world, until it collapsed, leaving investors wondering what had happened to their money—and where the Cryptoqueen is hiding.