A Russian national living in Thailand is accused of being the mastermind behind an online forex trading scam, run through the SiamOption.com website that has lured more than 1.4 million people to invest some 22 million USD, Phuket News reports.
Originally people were invited to invest in more than 70 assets, including currency pairs, indexes, stocks and commodities with SiamOption.com, which operates as a binary options broker. But when potential traders opened accounts with SiamOption.com, they were not able to trade or invest as advertised on the website, but Instead, their funds were transferred to a CryptoIndex – a crypto currency and “metals” fund.
The scammers managed to trick some 1.4 million people, with about 100,000 new accounts being opened each month, overall generating a total monthly income of about 20 million Baht (over 600 000 USD) , Thai Police sources say.
The Russian national, believed to be behind the scheme is Alexey Chikalov, 37, from St Petersburg. Thai Police announced the arrest of 19 suspects involved in the scam, following coordinated raids in Bangkok, Khon Kaen and Phuket.
The criminal group used Bangkok and Phuket as their main offices. All bank and online accounts linked to the scammers are frozen.