SEC signs deal on forensic science
Digital asset fraud raises need for tools
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) aims to incorporate forensic science to prove wrongdoing associated with digital assets amid rising fraud cases in the virtual asset class.
Yesterday, the SEC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) to enhance investigation efficiency by using forensic science.
The market regulator has received 43 cases pending investigation under the digital asset royal decree, said SEC secretary-general Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol.
“Scientific tools will be a key in proving cases, especially for wrongdoing associated with digital assets or cryptocurrencies, where there has been an increase in cases related to digital offences,” Ms Ruenvadee said.
“Evidence from the CIFS will raise credibility when cases are forwarded to the courts,” said Pol Lt Col Wannapong Kotcharag, the institute’s director-general. “Hopefully the CIFS can help with the investigation process and reduce offences related to securities and digital assets in the future.”
Last year saw the high-profile arrest of Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit over allegations of a bitcoin fraud worth 979 million baht.
According to the complaint, businesswoman Chonnikan Kaeosali and her Finnish business partner Aarni Saarimaa were lured into buying shares in three companies and investing in a casino and in a new cryptocurrency known as Dragon Coins, but they saw no returns from the money they put in.
In another case, 30 people filed a complaint with the police in February after they were duped into investing in “CryptoMining.Farm”, a blockchain-mining website, which allegedly resulted in losses of 42 million baht.
Under the royal decree on digital assets that took effect on May 14, 2018, there are four types of secondary business intermediaries: digital exchanges, brokerage firms, dealers and token portal service providers, also known as initial coin offering (ICO) portals.
Exchanges, brokers and dealers are required to apply for licences from the Finance Ministry, while ICO portals must be approved by the SEC.
Ms Reunvadee said the SEC has approved operating licences for three companies to become authorised ICO portals out of more than 10 companies that applied.