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Russian gang drain a couple’s Bitcoin account in a Phuket condo

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Russian gang drain a couple’s Bitcoin account in a Phuket condo | The Thaiger

A Russian couple have spoken to Thai police claiming that fellow-Russians, posing as Interpol, had entered their condominium and forced them to give passwords before stealing nearly 4 million baht in Bitcoin.

23 year old Maxsim Latsoka and 28 year old Anna Nikurina were returning home on Monday night. When they entered their fourth floor condo in Muang district they were bundled into the room by two Russian men.

The men claimed they were Interpol from Russia investigating Bitcoin irregularities. The couple claim the men put a hood over Maxim’s head and wrapped a towel around the head of his girlfriend before another Russian man came into the bedroom.

He ordered them to give the password of their computer notebook then the password of their Bitcoin account. If they didn’t they were told they would be injected with drugs and handed over to the Thai police.

Russian gang drain a couple's Bitcoin account in a Phuket condo | News by The Thaiger

The gang were in the room for a total of five hours, according to the Thai Rath report.

They managed to get 100,000 Euros in Bitcoin, allegedly emptying the account. They then fled with the notebook warning the couple they would be back to carry out their threats if they spoke to the Thai police.

A Thai forensics team visited the condo yesterday. The Russian couple initially were scared to report the theft but a friend who is a volunteer policeman persuaded them that it was better to report it.

Thai police say that they have information that the gang have already fled to Malaysia.

Arrest warrants are being prepared.

Russian gang drain a couple's Bitcoin account in a Phuket condo | News by The Thaiger



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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Bangkok

US Navy veteran locked up in Thai prison, family pleas for help

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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US Navy veteran locked up in Thai prison, family pleas for help | The Thaiger

by Lauren Talarico

A US Navy veteran from Texas remains locked up in a Thai prison for something his family says he didn’t do. Derrick Keller was arrested on August 20, 2018. But his family says the allegations against him are not true and they desperately want him home.

Derrick Keller’s family doesn’t know what to do next after their cries for help from politicians and lawyers have gone unanswered. They fear if something doesn’t happen fast Keller could spend the rest of his life in a Thai prison. 44 year old Derrick Keller is from Richmond, Texas. He is a son, a husband, a father to two kids and a Navy veteran.

“He was always a jokester,” his father said. “Always liked to make people laugh.”

“He’s the best man I’ve ever known,” said his 19 year old son Mark Keller.

But Derrick is 16,000 kilometres away behind bars at the notorious Klong Prem Prison in Bangkok.

“We are still in shock,” said Debra. “We still can’t fathom what’s taking place”

In 2015 Keller and his wife Tanya moved to China with their children. Tanya was offered a job she couldn’t pass up as the lead dance instructor at Shenzhen Dance Academy.

Derrick gave up his trucking company in East Bernard and worked odd jobs in China. He tended bar, coached a baseball team and perused acting, a childhood passion. In 2016 the family says a recruiter reached out to him about a company looking for a “Western face.” It was called Eagle Gates Group.

“The company was represented as completely legit,” his brother-in-law Ryan Murray explained. “Totally legal. It would just be an acting opportunity.”

Over six months, Keller acted in several corporate videos. His family says he was paid $15,000 to do so. After the job was complete, he told family he never heard from the company again, until a vacation to Thailand last August. Keller was arrested after he and his wife landed in Thailand for a vacation.

“They got off the plane and had a lot of Thailand police officers waiting for them,” Murray explained.

Thai media reported his arrest and claimed he was part of a Ponzi scheme which defrauded investors of millions of dollars.

“An American actor staying in Phuket as a tourist has been arrested in connection with a multinational scam operation based in Singapore that has allegedly defrauded Thai investors of 235 million baht.”

“I think at first they thought it was just a misunderstanding,” Murray said. “And it turned out to be something much worse.”

Keller was arrested on August 20, 2018. One day later he called his father to tell him he was being detained.

“That’s the last I’ve heard from him,” his dad said through tears. “That’s the last time I heard his voice. Been bad. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. I mean, like I said, I haven’t heard him. God knows I love my son.”

Watch a Texas TV report about the story HERE.

US Navy veteran locked up in Thai prison, family pleas for help | News by The Thaiger

No family member has seen or talked to Keller since he has been in prison.

“I’m always scared that I’m just going to wake up to the worst information I’ve ever heard,” cried his son, Mark.

“That something beyond horrific about this has happened to my dad like maybe he’s died in incarceration or something. It’s the uncertainty that really kills me.”

“The prison that he’s in is notorious for human rights violations,” Murray explained.

“There’s a lot of bribery. It’s very corrupt. He’s sleeping on concrete, sharing a cell with 50 other people.”

US Navy veteran locked up in Thai prison, family pleas for help | News by The Thaiger

Deputy DSI chief Songsak Raksakskul (left) and DSI chief Paisit Wongmuang brief the media on the arrest of 10 suspects in the alleged Eagle Gates Group investment fraud, at the DSI offices in Bangkok.

Missionaries have related to the family that Derrick’s lost 30 kilos in 10 months. The family says they’ve provided proof that Derrick is innocent and was simply an actor in a corporate video. They claim they’ve reached out to President Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator John Cornyn and a long list of other local politicians but haven’t been offered any help.

“The country called… he answered,” said his father, a Vietnam veteran.

“When the country called… I answered. And now we call and we don’t get an answer.”

Derrick Keller’s trial date is set for July. He’s facing 35 years in prison.

“During questioning, Keelor told officers that he was an actor working in China, and was hired by a Singaporean to be Executive Director of Eagle Gates Group Co Ltd in order to build credibility and reputation for the company. The DSI noted that they would investigate Kellor’s role further.

The DSI also reported that their investigations had discovered more than 1 billion baht in investment had been transferred out of the victim’s bank accounts.” – Bangkok Post

“The court itself, from what we’ve been able to find out from lawyers and our own research, has a 95% conviction rate,” Murray said.

“We’ve been told that if he admits guilt they will be easier on him and that it’s not worth fighting against. Derrick is a man of integrity… I do not see him admitting to a crime he didn’t commit so that has me worried.”

A change.org petition has been started. To help, click HERE.

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Business

‘Fast and Furious 9’ to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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‘Fast and Furious 9’ to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket | The Thaiger

The latest sequel of the ‘Fast and Furious’ movie franchise will partly be filmed in Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani next month.

Yesterday Piya Petonji, the film’s production manager, met with Krabi Governor M.L. Kitibadee Prawit at the Krabi City Hall before the cast arrives and filming begins.

The filming will be from July 1-27 in locations around Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani. It is estimated the production will bring a 340 million baht benefit to Thailand and the local film industry.

'Fast and Furious 9' to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket | News by The Thaiger

The Krabi Governor says this is a good opportunity for Thailand to present its beautiful nature, culture and history to the world through the film. There has been no announcement of when filming may be taking place around Phuket’s roads.

The Thaiger recommends the plot of the film as a race between a visa-run passenger van and a Chinese Tour Bus to the Malaysian border, with a feature muay thai face-off on Maya Bay beach between Vin Diesel and Leonardo DiCaprio (though the 45 year old might have to get some training in before returning to ‘The Beach’).

Here’s our Top Ten movies made around Phuket and Thailand.

'Fast and Furious 9' to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Leonardo in Phuket last year during a quick break

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai netizens outraged after porn movie released online

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Chiang Mai netizens outraged after porn movie released online | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai locals are sharing their outrage over a porn video shot in a local massage shop where the massage ends up in a lot more than just a happy ending. The clip is called “Thai VIP Massage” and is credited to ThaiSwinger.com.

Manager Online reports that netizens are calling for the police to investigate the adult movie shot in the northern city. The clip was filmed in various locations around the city.

The plot (we use the term loosely) shows foreign tourist goes into the Thai massage shop which is reported to be located near Loi Kroh Road. The man is greeted by a woman wearing traditional Lanna style clothing. She starts off with a traditional massage but her handiwork gets increasingly more sexual in nature and, well, you sort of know the rest of the ‘plot’.

Police say they are yet to receive an official complaint about the clip, which was shared on the Line App, but they have made some preliminary investigations (The Thaiger believes this may involve several detailed viewings of the clip).

Complaints about the ‘adult film’, say that the clip will sully the good reputation of Chiang Mai and Thai’s living in the north. They also complained that people viewing the clip may get the wrong impression about Thai massage.

The mock-moral outrage over the porn video appears contrary to Thai’s actual online viewing habits. The two most popular websites in Thailand are porn video sites, after Google, YouTube and Facebook, a long way ahead of local sites like Pantip.

SOURCE: Manager Online

Chiang Mai netizens outraged after porn movie released online | News by The Thaiger

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