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Tuesday Jan 11 2022
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Crypto firm assures FIA of full cooperation in Rs18bn scam

  • FIA Cybercrime head confirms Binance has contacted FIA assuring them of their cooperation in the investigation.
  • "Crypto exchange has appointed two of its officials for cooperation into the probe," Imran Riaz says.
  • FIA official says billions of rupees were transferred from Pakistan to China through 11 mobile applications.


ISLAMABAD: International cryptocurrency exchange Binance on Tuesday assured the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of complete cooperation in a probe regarding Rs17.7 billion scam, Geo News reported.

It is pertinent to mention here that the FIA had detected an online fraud of $100 million (Rs17.7 billion) related to cryptocurrency and issued notice to the local representative of Binance — the largest virtual currency exchange — to appear in person on January 10.

According to a statement issued in this regard, FIA Cybercrime Sindh Head Imran Riaz confirmed that Binance has contacted the FIA, first via a phone call, and later by sending an official e-mail, assuring them of their cooperation in the investigation related to the fraud.

“The cryptocurrency exchange has appointed two of its officials for cooperation into the probe," he said, adding that both the officials were former employees of the US finance department and had been investigating financial crimes.

The FIA official underlined that billions of rupees were transferred from Pakistan to China through 11 mobile applications.

FIA investigates Rs17.7bn scam

Shedding light on the details of the scam, Riaz had said that those involved in the online fraud transferred money abroad through cryptocurrency.

He added: “We launched a probe after receiving complaints regarding a fraud involving billions of rupees reportedly committed through eleven online applications.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the FIA had sought answers in this regard from the representative of the international crypto-exchange present in Pakistan.

The provincial head stated that people invested between $100 to $80,000 in fraud applications. 

“Those who developed these apps were linked to cryptocurrency,” the FIA official had said.

He had also mentioned cryptocurrency accounts of all those linked to the scam would be suspended.

The FIA official had underlined that cryptocurrency is being used in money laundering and terror financing.

According to details, some mobile applications were asking Pakistanis to invest in digital currency. These applications were linked to Binance.

However, these applications suddenly vanished and Pakistanis lost investment of around Rs17.7 billion. The authorities said this fraud "was carried out in a unique fashion."