S'porean arrested in Phuket for suspected involvement in S$80 million Thai forex trading scam

Thai authorities said there were at least 8,436 victims of the scam.

Matthias Ang | January 17, 2023, 08:30 PM

A Singaporean has been arrested in Phuket for his alleged involvement in a Thai forex trading scam, according to the Public Relations Department of Phuket.

Arrested just before boarding Scoot flight to Singapore

Daryl Cai Yonghui was arrested at Phuket International Airport on Jan. 16 at 10.30am, when he was about to leave for Singapore on Scoot flight TR659.

He was jointly detained by Thai immigration officers and the police, according to a Facebook post by the department.

A warrant for his arrest had been issued by the Thai Criminal Court.

The department added that Cai was discovered by immigration when they checked his passport and found that he was the suspect in the warrant.

Thailand's Department of Special Investigation (DSI) further stated that Cai was then flown from Phuket to Bangkok after his arrest, the Bangkok Post reported.

Close contact of scam's founder which allegedly caused nearly S$80 million in losses to victims

The Thai media outlet further highlighted that Cai is a close contact of the scam's alleged mastermind, Apirak Kothi, who was caught in January 2021.

According to the DSI, the scam involved using the website, www.forex-3D.com, as a channel for fraudulent advertising to lure the public to invest in foreign currency exchange trading.

The return rate offered was 60 to 80 per cent of the profits.

The DSI said it interviewed 8,436 victims of the scam, with the damages estimated to be over 2 billion baht (S$80 million).

The DSI was also quoted as saying that it would object to Cai's request for bail on the basis that he poses a serious flight risk, according to the Bangkok Post.

Partner claims on television that he had returned to the country to prove his innocence

Prior to his arrest, Cai had appeared on a Thai talk show on Jan. 11, with his Italian-Thai partner Sarah Casinghini.

While on the show, Casinghini claimed that she was not involved in the forex scam and added that her husband had returned to Thailand to prove his innocence in the matter.

In November 2022, Cai was believed to have fled Thailand by the Bangkok Post reported.

But following the couple's appearance on television, their lawyer was contacted by Thai authorities who requested for Cai to report to the police on Jan. 13.

However, Cai did not appear.

The DSI then went to Cai's Chao Phraya condominium but did not find him there.

The department added that they were then informed by one of the condominium's security guards that someone resembling Cai's girlfriend had left the premises with another individual, prior to the authorities' arrival.

The DSI did not mention if it was taking any action against Casinghini.

Top photo via Public Relations Phuket/Facebook