This week, in an unexpected turn of events, 54-year-old Peter Coker Jr, a citizen of the Caribbean island state of St Kitts and Nevis, was arrested in a hotel room near Surin beach in Thalang district of Phuketon Wednesday. This arrest was the culmination of a long-running investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into stock manipulation and colluding in fraud.
The CIB, led by Pol Maj Gen Montri Khetkhan, were working with the FBI in this investigation. The suspect was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court in the US on December 27, 2022, as he was on red and black notices issued by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
This case related to the share manipulation of two companies, Hometown International and E-Waste Corp, which were traded on the OTC Link Alternative Trading System. The investigation has revealed that the accused were business partners who had seen the potential in a food company in New Jersey and had taken it over in 2014 in an attempt to bring it to the stock market.
By April 2021, the company’s share price had jumped to $12.99, up to 939% from the opening price in just two years. It was alleged that the suspect and his accomplices had transferred 3.5 million shares to nominees in Macau, making Coker a major shareholder of the firm.
The New Jersey Federal Court had issued arrest warrants for Coker and his accomplices for colluding in stock fraud and manipulation. It was reported that the conviction for these types of activities carries a jail term of up to 20 years. As other suspect were arrested in the US, Coker went on the run and was tracked to a hotel room in Phuket.
During questioning, Coker admitted to being the man on the Interpol notices. He has been handed over to the Criminal Court for legal proceedings. The US Department of Justice is seeking to bring Coker to justice in the US. However, he is expected to face prosecution in Thailand first before the extradition process takes place.