On the crime front, public attention was largely dominated by broad, unusual and controversial news. The alleged bitcoin fraud has caused police and readers to delve into the complexity of the cryptocurrency issue, which is new to most people, while the arrest of the elderly clergy in cases of embezzlement of temple funds has put to the test the faith of Buddhism. Meanwhile, the arrest of a policeman turned assassin responsible for at least two murders, has brought to mind his alleged connection with the abduction and murders of a jeweler's wife and son in possession of vital clues in the case of gems Saudis stolen in 1995. The police also affirmed the success of conquering all the home runners in a long crackdown. However, accidental death, according to reports, of an Indian tourist in a shootout between two rival gangs of Bangkok has undermined confidence in tourist security.
1 The investor takes the bitcoin bait
The Division of Crime Suppression (CSD) spent eight months tracking down the wake of a network accused of cheating a Finnish investor on nearly 800 million baht of bitcoins, which led to the arrest of the first suspect in the month of August of this year.
On January 30, business woman Chonnikan Kaewkasee filed a police complaint on behalf of Aarni Otava Saarimaa, a 22-year-old Finnish investor, who claimed to have lost 797.4 million baht bitcoins for the band.
The members of the band, according to the investor, have attracted him to invest in Dragon Coin, a cryptocurrency, and to buy shares in Expay Software Co, NX Chain Inc and DNA 2002 Plc. Later it turned out that the investments were fraudulent because they did not happen.
Members of the Jaravijit family appear before the press in October to defend themselves against the charges they face in relation to the alleged bitcoin fraud. From left, Supitcha, actor Jiratpisit and Thanasit. VARUTH HIRUNYATHEB
Police investigators captured the first suspect, actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit, on August 8th in a department store, where he was filming a dramatic series.
His eldest brother, Prinya Jaravijit, who was allegedly behind the scam, was arrested after returning to Thailand from the United States on October 10 after his passport revocation.
Two other younger brothers of Mr. Prinya – Thanasit and Supitcha Jaravijit – and his parents are facing money laundering allegations as they allegedly received the money defrauded by the main suspect.
According to an investigation, a banker told Mr. Prinya of Mr. Saarimaa, who had accumulated a significant amount of bitcoin after starting to extract the cryptocurrency when he was only 12 years old. The suspect then met the Finnish investor and invited him to make investments.
2 Test of faith for Buddhism
At dawn on May 24th, the agents of the Crime Delinquency Division (CSD) searched three popular temples in Bangkok and arrested senior monks and their associates in connection with the misappropriation of temple funds.
At Wat Sam Phraya, they arrested Phra Phrom Dilok, the abbot, and his secretary, Phra Atthakit Sophon. At the time, Phra Phrom Dilok was also a member of the Supreme Sangha Council and of the ecclesiastical governor of the Order of the Bangkok monks. Phra Atthakit was secretary of the ecclesiastical governor of Bangkok.
At Wat Sa Ket, the CSD chained Phra Sri Khunaporn, Phra Wichit Thammaporn and Phra Khru Siriwihankansomjit, who were all abbots of temple assistants.
The elderly monks are escorted by the court in May to be deferred in connection with the case of embezzlement of the temple fund. Tawatchai Kemgumnerd
However, the police failed to arrest Phra Phrom Methee, assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong, who fled and escaped from the country to a destination in Germany.
Four lay people were also gathered during the raids for their alleged involvement in the scandal.
All are accused of embezzling state funds allocated to spread Buddhism and to fund Phra Pariyatti Dhamma schools that conduct religious studies. It is said that the stolen money has been transferred to a number of individuals.
All the elderly monks were detained and denied bail.
Initially, Phra Phrom Methee had sought asylum in Germany. Authorities are in the process of seeking his extradition to face charges in Thailand. An investigation is still under way to track multiple suspicions that are believed to have conspired to commit crimes.
3 Policemen become bad brought to book
An investigation into a fatal shooting at a gas station in the municipality of Sa Kaeo on September 30 led the police to a famous assassin, who is a former police officer.
Prior to this case, the bandit was suspected of involvement in at least two other cases of murder.
The armed man was named Pansak Mongkolsilp, a former lieutenant colonel of the police. He was accused of killing the owner of the gas station, Pracha Worathat, injuring his wife, Palida.
The commander of the division for the suppression of crime, Jirabhop Bhuridej, who was promoted to head division at the beginning of October, had instructed the officers to intensify the search for the suspect.
Pansak was then cornered at a resort in Rayong's Pluak Daeng district on October 14th. He was there with his wife.
According to police, Pansak was hired to demolish the owner of the gas station from Damrongrit Kittiwaraphon, who had a commercial dispute with Pracha.
It is said that Pansak was on the list of the country's best goons.
He was linked to a team that kidnapped and killed the wife and son of a jeweler who was believed to have had vital information about the fate of the Saudi gems stolen from the 1994 controversial theft case.
He was also suspected of being involved in the murder of a business man in 2013 in the Rong Klua market in the Aranyaprathet district of Sa Keao, whose body was burned beyond recognition in a forest in Prachin Buri .
The 4 Gang War claims crossfire
An Indian tourist was killed and four others were injured in a shootout between two rival gangs in the Pratunam area on 7 October.
The police launched a massive manhunt for the gunmen and gave daily updates to the press briefing on the case.
A motorcyclist stops to watch a bloodstained sidewalk where an Indian tourist has been killed and four others injured in a shootout between two rival gangs in the Pratunam area on 7 October. Chanat Katanyu
Khatcha Thatsat, deputy chief of city police, said police arrested a suspect, Preecha Sakudomphaisan, and called for arrest warrants for another five.
The police examined the footage of four security cameras at the crime scene before Mr. Preecha handed himself over to the Phaya Thai police and was accused of premeditated murder.
According to reports, the man ran a billiard room in the area and a quarrel with a rival gang led to the gun battle.
The investigators, however, were not convinced that the shooting was linked to local influential figures.
The reason for the gun battle is likely to be the result of personal conflict, Pol Maj Gen Khatcha said.
The presumed Preecha was threatened by the members of Bamphen Phumphuang, 23, who did not believe Mr. Preecha was responsible for the billiard room. Their fight broke out in a parking lot near a shopping center where foreign tourists were waiting to board a bus. When they fired each other, several bullets hit the five victims.
According to investigators who found bullets of different weapons at the crime scene, it was believed that an AK-47 had been used by at least one armed man.
This prompted Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to order a new crackdown on illegal firearms.
5 Crackdown expels unwanted guests
A long crackdown on foreigners who overstepped their visas led the police to believe in October that they had the problem of immigration under control.
According to the police, more than 40,000 off-shore residents were stopped in October and the latest group of criminals broke immigration laws. They are deported and placed on the blacklist to return to the country.
The crackdown, which kicked off in October of last year, was named "Outlaw X-Ray Foreigners".
More than 50 Pakistani people were gathered as part of a repression of the immigration office on illegal entry and visa awaiting extradition by foreigners. Somchai Poomlard
It was initiated by the commissioner of the Immigration Office, Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, who claimed that over 100,000 foreigners were still in the country despite the expiry of the visa.
According to him, the offshore residents posed a risk to national security because they were inclined to commit crimes.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate has clarified to immigration offices throughout the country that they must provide foreigners residing in their areas at least seven days notice before the visa expires.
If foreigners fail to comply with the visa terms, agents must hunt them down, he said.
Immigration officials have also been told to comb the areas where there may be two residents more than twice a week. They had to do it in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, which trained 35 teams across the country to deal with illegal migrant workers.
Foreign criminal syndicates have also been arrested, including the Chinese call center gangs and romance scam networks.