A notice was also sent by the Federal agency to Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, regarding an alleged scam that deceived many people of approximately 100 million rupees. The notice asked Binance to explain its connection with at least 11 mobile apps associated with the fraud.
The Karachi-based Federal Investigation Agency, (FIA), considers cryptocurrency “a tool to money laundering”. Recently, it announced that it will be clamping down on cryptocurrency dealers in Pakistan.
The FIA demanded that approximately 1,600 websites linked to crypto trading be taken down by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. reported that a significant operation is underway to arrest and detain those involved.
Since 2018, when the State Bank of Pakistan declared cryptocurrency illegal, Pakistan’s hostile attitude towards it has not changed. The Federal agency sent a notice to Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, asking for explanations about a scam that had deceived many people.
According to the FIA press release: “People from all over Pakistan contacted FIA Cyber Crime Sindh via social media and disclosed at least 11 mobile apps namely MCX and HTFOX and FXCOPY. OKIMINI and BB001. These applications have stopped functioning over a period and have defrauded Pakistani citizens of billions.
Further details revealed that HFC had an average of 5,000 customers and the highest number reaching 30,000.
PTA received a letter requesting help from the telecommunications agency to bring legal action against those involved in such operations. It also stated that it had initiated the compilation.
According to research by the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this comes after almost $20 billion worth of cryptocurrency investments in Pakistan. This is not significantly lower than the country’s foreign currency reserves of around $24.02 trillion as of January 2021.
Federal Science and Technology Minister Shibli Faraz stated that “gullible people” were investing in cryptocurrency without having a good understanding of the risks and benefits. He demanded that this asset class be subject to a systemic government oversight for transparency and protection. This is something that the government, State Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan are working together on.