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Pakistan to investigate Binance for multi-million-dollar cryptocurrency scam

3 min reading

Pakistan government has decided to look into the Binance scam.

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The Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has reportedly issued an official notification to cryptocurrency exchange Binance to identify links to multi-million-dollar crypto scams in the region.

The Pakistani government has opened a criminal investigation after receiving numerous complaints about ongoing fraud, including misleading investors into sending funds from Binance's portfolio to an unknown third party's portfolio. According to local reports, the FIA's cyber-crime department has ordered the presence of Binance Pakistan's general manager Hamza Khan to identify the exchange's links to "fake mobile apps for online investments". "A questionnaire was also sent to Binance's headquarters in the Cayman Islands and to Binance USA to explain the same," the statement said. Investment scams in Pakistan are carried out by asking consumers to register with Binance and transfer funds to third-party portfolios under the pretext of unrealistic returns. According to the FIA:

“This system benefits old customers at the expense of new customers and eventually disappears when they build a sizable capital base worth billions of rupees. Due to complaints from citizens, Pakistani authorities identified at least 11 fake mobile apps that suddenly stopped working after users' money was stolen. The apps identified by the FIA are MCX, HFC, HTFOX, FXCOPY, OKIMINI, BB001, AVG86C, BX66, UG, TASKTOK and 91fp. Fraudsters not only instruct users to register with Binance to transfer money, but add victims to groups on Telegram to provide “expert betting signals”. Each app hosts an average of about 5,000 subscribers. The following was added to the notification:

“At least 26 suspicious blockchain wallet addresses (Binance wallet addresses) have been identified, which may have been used to transfer fraudulent amounts. A letter has been written to Binance Holdings Limited to provide details of these accounts in the blockchain portfolio and to debit them. Binance was also asked for details, including official proof and the API integration mechanism used by scammers to connect to Binance services. Although the FIA proactively blocks bank accounts associated with suspicious claims, the statement warns:

"In the event of non-compliance, Cyber Crime FIA reserves the right to recommend financial sanctions for Binance through the State Bank of Pakistan." Binance has not responded to a request for comment. In December 2021, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Nasir Hayat Magun announced that Pakistani nationals have a total value of $20 billion in crypto assets. As reported, the FPCCI President confirmed the figure based on a research paper published by the Chamber. To support this claim, the Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index 2021 ranks Pakistan third in the index after Vietnam and India.

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