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Did Thai Police Really Arrest Zhang Jian, The 'Future Richest Man In The World'?

Zhang Jian, founder of the controversial YSLM multi-level marketing business, had underwent a 100-day temporary ordination programme at a temple in Phuket since early August.

Cover image via fbcdn.net

Zhang Jian, the self-proclaimed "future richest man in the world", has been arrested in Thailand, reported The Star on 28 October

A screenshot of the news posted on The Star's Twitter timeline.

Image via twitter.com/staronline

Citing Thailand daily The Nation, The Star further reported that Zhang was arrested over a pyramid scheme that reportedly duped people in Malaysia RM300 million and in China RM600 million

But a quick Google search by SAYS and looking through the article from The Nation which The Star cited for its report, it seems that while Thai police have indeed arrested three people involved in the pyramid scheme, but none of them is actually Zhang Jian.

According to The Nation's original article, three Chinese suspects who have been arrested are: 37-year-old Song Miqui, 29-year-old Wang Wenfang, and Geng Lianbao (age unspecified). Also, assets from all three worth RM24 million in total have been seized.

Bangkok police arrested Song Miqui, 37, and Wang Wenfang, 29, at a Pathumwan condominium on Monday and seized cash in various currencies worth nearly Bt1 million in total, five Phuket land sale contracts worth Bt22.3 million, two Phuket land title deeds, Wang's bank account with Bt1.5 million in it, plus the suspects' Thai ID cards.

nationmultimedia.com

On the same day in Phuket, police arrested third suspect Geng Lianbao at his home in Muang district and seized Bt5 million in cash in various currencies, nine land title deeds worth Bt200 million, gold ornaments worth Bt2.2 million and three cars, as well as his Thai ID card.

nationmultimedia.com

The trio's arrest stemmed from a tip-off about foreigners allegedly using fake Thai ID cards and spending a lot of cash in Phuket

The police probe found that the group allegedly used fake ID cards in transactions and set up a company to get "members" for the pyramid scheme. The scheme reportedly duped 100,000 people in China of 1.3 billion yuan or Bt6 billion.

nationmultimedia.com

Chinese authorities arrested a gang member earlier this year and issued arrest warrants for this three, plus six others. The group also set up the scheme and allegedly duped over 80,000 people in Malaysia of 300 million ringgits or Bt3 billion.

nationmultimedia.com

The Rakyat Post, while doing its own research regarding the authenticity of the news, reported that despite the news of the arrests in the Thai press, YSLM charity wing chairman Datuk John Lee Kim Tian laughed off the reports about his boss's arrest

A billboard in Malaysia featuring the 'World's Future Richest Man'

Image via therakyatpost.com

“I just spoke to Zhang. There is no such thing,” said YSLM charity wing chairman Datuk John Lee Kim Tian.

therakyatpost.com

So the conclusion would be no, Thai police has not actually arrested Zhang Jian. They have arrested three other suspects, who may or may not be linked to Zhang's multilevel marketing.

Here are couple of stories related to Zhang on SAYS: