Pakistani investors have fallen victim to massive fraud using cryptocurrency. The country’s main law enforcement agency issued a notice to the Binance crypto exchange regarding the scam that resulted in the loss of $ 100 million to Pakistanis, media revealed.
Fraudsters Trick Pakistanis to Invest in Cryptocurrency Through Binance
Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan (FIA) discovered a crypto investment scam that is believed to have cost Pakistani citizens some 17.7 billion rupees (approximately $ 100 million). Providing details on the case, Imran Riaz, director of the FIA’s cybercrime arm, said on Friday that the organizers were using the cryptocurrency. Quoted by local media, Riaz announced:
We launched an investigation after receiving complaints about fraud involving billions of rupees committed using nine online apps.
Fraudsters used mobile apps offering crypto investment opportunities to Pakistanis, and people sent between $ 100 and $ 80,000, an average of $ 2,000 per person. Investors were urged to register with Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange, and transfer money from the Binance wallet to app-linked accounts. On December 20, authorities were contacted by numerous users who complained that a dozen apps suddenly stopped working.
“During the investigation, it was discovered that the fraudulent accounts of different apps, namely MCX, HFC, HTFOX, FXCOPY, OKMINI, BB001, AVG86C, BX66, 91fp, TASKTOK, were linked to Binance wallets,” have detailed officials. Each had an average of 5,000 customers. The FIA sent a notice to Hamza Khan, identified as Binance’s representative for Pakistan, and ordered him to appear in person on January 10.
“FIA Cyber Crime Sindh issued attendance order to Hamza Khan, Managing Director / Growth Analyst at Binance Pakistan (Crypto Currency Exchange) to explain his position on the link between fraudulent online investment mobile apps and Binance, “the FIA said, quoted by the Express Tribune and other news outlets. “A relevant questionnaire was also sent to Binance headquarters in the Cayman Islands and Binance US to explain the same,” the agency added in a press release.
Pakistani Crypto Transactions Closely Monitored by Authorities
The FIA claims to have identified 26 wallet addresses at Binance used to transfer the money. “A letter was written to Binance Holdings Limited giving the details of these blockchain wallet accounts as well as blocking them,” the agency said, adding that it had also requested supporting documentation and information on the integration. applications with the parts trade. Platform.
Noting that Binance is the “largest unregulated virtual bureau de change” where Pakistanis have invested millions of dollars, FIA warns that in the event of non-compliance, its cybercrime unit may recommend the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) impose financial penalties. He has now started to closely monitor the transactions made by Pakistanis on the stock exchange.
Law enforcement officials are also contacting the popular messaging app Telegram, as members of the program have been added to various groups broadcasting signals about bitcoin price fluctuations. The FIA is sending legal notices to social media influencers who have promoted the apps and taken action to block all bank accounts linked to the scam.
In December, the Federal Investigation Agency froze more than 1,000 bank accounts and cards used by crypto traders in Pakistan. The buying and selling of cryptocurrencies is still banned in the country according to a circular issued by the SBP in April 2018. Despite the ban, a recent report found that Pakistanis have invested $ 20 billion in assets. cryptographic. There have been increasing calls for the government to regulate related transactions.
Do you expect Pakistan to further restrict crypto investment and trading after this fraud case? Let us know in the comments section below.
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