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FIA issues notice to crypto exchange Binance for scam

07 Jan, 2022
Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken. Reuters file photo
Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken. Reuters file photo

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) issued a notice to a popular crypto exchange, Binance, in a multi-billion rupees scam.

The FIA in a statement said that its Cyber Crime Wing had summoned the company's local representative, Hamza Khan, to explain his position after a multi-billion rupees scam involving 11 Binance-linked applications.

The FIA took action following around Rs18 billion lost that were invested in cryptocurrencies through different mobilephone applications.

It was the first time an international crypto exchange had been summoned in financial crime.

According to details, the Binance-linked applications were offering Pakistani investors a chance to invest in the virtual currencies in exchange for really high returns, however, these applications suddenly vanished.

The FIA said that on Dec 20, 2021, people from all over the country contacted the agency and said that at least 11 mobile apps had "defrauded people of billions of rupees".

The investigation agency believed that the money transferred through the mobile applications were engaged in money laundering and terror financing. The fraudsters had adopted the novel way to rob people, the agency said.

The authorities say that the person who launched the applications had connections with the crypto-exchange.

During the investigation, the agency found that applications namely MCX, HFC, HTFOX, FXCOPY, OKMINI, BB001, AVG86C, BX66, 91fp, TASKTOK, were linked with Binance wallets,” the officials said.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Securities and Exchange Companies of Pakistan (SECP) through public notices had already warned people that the cryptocurrency was not legal tender in Pakistan and also no such investment has been allowed due to risks involved to this.