The FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) of Pakistan has indicated that they intend to acquire a court order from the PTA to stop bitcoin trading websites. According to reports, the government is doing so as part of its efforts to combat fraud and money laundering.
Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi, Director-General of the FIA, met with the Cyber Crime Circle Office of State Bank Pakistan to address current digital security challenges and collaborate more closely.
According to the FIA chief, SBP officials provided a mechanism to control cryptocurrency platforms.
The SBP team informed the attendees that new cryptocurrency laws would be issued soon in response to the Sindh High Court decisions.
Law experts have highlighted worries about cryptocurrencies, describing them as an unsecured and deceptive means of transacting business.
“Crypto has given a new dimension to fraud,” said Abbasi, who added that the company would also connect legal experts to assist with fraud issues coming from this technology.
The FIA’s director-general has stated that while bitcoin is permitted in many countries, it is banned or limited in others for legitimate reasons. When evaluating whether to approve the use of crypto platforms, he saw that they were primarily concerned with fraud and money laundering.
Earlier this week, discussions raised the issue of a lack of crypto-related legislation. There are no sections, for example, in the Remittance Act of 1947 (FERA), the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act of 2016, or the Foreign Exchange and Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2010. (AMLA).
Only a few times has the Cyber Crime Wing pursued action under Section 23 of the FERA and AMLA. This is an act used by law enforcement agencies against cybercriminals who have been caught red-handed breaking into information systems in order to perpetrate financial crimes such as mortgage frauds or stealing monies from clients’ accounts at ATMs that use these networks.
Following their meeting on the subject, the Financial Action Task Force has yet to create any regulations for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP). Many questions remain unanswered due to the lack of a regulatory framework, including what steps VASP will take if detected doing something illegal or unethical, such as terrorism financing.
The Securities Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Pakistan’s regulatory agency, has stated that it will treat virtual currencies like equities in order to avoid taking “a banned approach.”
The finance ministry has warned to stay away from digital money, initial coin offerings, and other crypto-based initiatives.
The FIA’s Director-General, Abbasi, issued a statement condemning those involved in a scam in which victims were duped. He detailed the collection of data on potential suspects in order to ensure that no more victims fall victim.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is investigating a $100 million cryptocurrency scam after 11 major bitcoin trading apps were removed from their platforms, thereby defrauding Pakistani investors.
The FIA detained “Dr. Zafar” five months ago for defrauding Pakistani citizens using cryptocurrency schemes.
On January 20th, 2022, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) asked that the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) prohibit over 1600 bitcoin websites. According to the ministers, the action is part of legitimizing cryptocurrency.