Self-proclaimed 'future richest man' Zhang Jian, 26, arrested
The man who made headlines in July after proclaiming himself the "future richest man in the world" on billboards in Penang has been arrested by Thai police.
Chinese national Zhang Jian was nabbed for allegedly swindling people in China and Malaysia of six billion baht (S$233 million) and three billion baht respectively.
Zhang was running a pyramid scheme known as YSLM, which he had launched in June, when he made the outrageous claim in Malaysia.
The Malaysian Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry had been investigating YSLM for its links to a get-rich-quick scam before Zhang left for Thailand.
Donated to a temple
Zhang, 26, has reportedly been in Phuket since early August attending a 100-day temporary ordination programme at a temple.
But sources claim he quit half way because the temple was packed with his followers daily and that he attempted to recruit devotees to join YSLM.
It was said that Zhang donated 3.9 million baht to the temple after his company's revenue hit the RM50 billion mark (S$19.4m).
Bangkok newspaper The Nation reported that Bangkok police also arrested Song Miqui, 37, and Wang Wenfang, 29, at a condominium in Pathumwan on Monday and seized cash in various currencies.
The authorities have also seized five Phuket land sale contracts worth 22.3 million baht, two Phuket land title deeds, the 1.5 million baht in Wang's bank account and the suspects' Thai identification cards.
Thai police are still looking for Thais who may have been duped in the scheme.
Sources: The Nation and The Star